The Antonov An-225 Mriya 18 months after being hit in the Russian invasion

Once the world’s largest plane, the six-engined freighter has been dismantled and may have parts used in a second aircraft.

It was almost 18 months ago that the world aeronautical community was shaken by the loss of the only An-225 Mriya, the largest aircraft ever built in history.

Antonov’s massive six-engined freighter was parked for maintenance at the company’s base in Gostomel, near Kiev, when Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

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On the 27th of that month, a battle at the airport ended up partially destroying the An-225 registration UR-82060, which was under a hangar waiting for the reinstallation of one of its D-18T engines.

Antonov An-225 (Igor Lesiv, aerovokzal.net)

The images that confirmed its loss were only released several days after the attack, but caused commotion as it was found that the almost 300-ton giant had lost a good part of the forward fuselage in a fire, in addition to other damaged parts.

Nearly a year and a half since the fateful day, new photos have surfaced, showing the Mriya (dream) in a different situation. Journalist Igor Lesiv, from the Aerovokzal website, visited Antonov’s facilities and photographed what was left of the aircraft.

A second An-225 on the way?

The An-225’s fuselage remains in the same hangar, now uncovered. The frontal portion has been removed uo to the edge of the wings, although the fuselage is still charred on both sides.

Satellite images show the An-225 in Kiev days before the attack. In detail, the already hit hangar and the tail of the aircraft (GE)

The huge landing gear remains supporting the weight of the plane, aided by hydraulic jacks, although most of the wheels are without tires, destroyed in the attack.

The appearance of the rear portion of the fuselage, however, is as if it has been preserved. This impression is helped by the fact that Antonov has removed the double empennage that, according to rumors, could be used in the assembly of a second An-225.

Antonov An-225 (Antonov)

According to Antonov, three of the six turbofans were recovered and used in An-124 Ruslan aircraft, the ‘smaller brother’ of the Mriya.

Whether in fact Antonov will one day be able to recreate the An-225 is still not possible to know. But, to the relief of fans of the Ukrainian giant, there is still hope that we will see him in the skies one day.

More imagens in Avianews.

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