AN-225 ‘Mriya’ | Plans To Rebuild World’s Largest Plane Confirmed

The destruction of the world’s largest commercial plane was one of the key images at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The dream will never die,” tweeted the manufacturers when it was destroyed.

Now it looks like they have stayed true to their word, with the company announcing that plans to rebuild it are already underway.

Nicknamed “Mriya” — Ukrainian for “dream” the massive plane was built in the 1980s to carry the Soviet space shuttle.

Its later life, while slightly less glamorous, was equally iconic — it was the world’s largest cargo transporter, with around twice the hold capacity as a Boeing 747. It stretched to 84 meters, or 275 feet, with the longest wingspan of any fully operational airplane. To date, it is the heaviest aircraft ever built.

Its destruction was announced on February 27 2022, with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeting that “Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya’… but they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state.”

On Monday, the Antonov Company announced in a tweet that the rebuild project had already begun, with “design work” already in the offing. While it had estimated repair costs, the company predicted a bill of over €500 million ($502 million) to get it back in the air, promising more information “after the victory.”

Already the company has around 30% of the components needed to build a new one, it announced.

“The possibility of attracting funding from various sources is being considered and proposals from many organizations that are ready to join the project are being reviewed.”

The company said it would coordinate the research, design and assembly, and confirmed that there are still main airframe units for a new plane that have not been destroyed.

“The program is developing in the direction of carrying out an expert assessment of these units, for subsequent calculations and design works,” it wrote, adding that the build would take place “immediately after the victory of Ukraine.”

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