The world’s largest plane, the Antonov An-225 “Mriya” has been destroyed in an attack on its home base at Hostomel Airport near Kyiv, Ukraine.
The airliner, which has a special place in aviation folklore and always draws crowds wherever it goes, is the only complete example to have been built.
Registered UR-82060, the aircraft first flew in December 1988 in what was then the Soviet Union. Its original task was in ferrying the Buran space shuttle.
Since 1991 it has been seen as Ukrainian, and operated by Antonov Airlines. Its main tasks were in flying oversized cargo on charter work around the world.
With the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022, fears were voiced over the status of the aircraft, which was known to be on the ground at Hostomel Airport.
Finally, on 27 February, it was widely confirmed that the aircraft had been set on fire during an attack on the airport whilst inside a hangar a few days earlier.
It should be noted that at the time of writing, Antonov Airlines has said it is still waiting to inspect the aircraft to confirm whether on not it was destroyed beyond repair.
This is a sad time for aviation. One other airframe was built but never assembled, and was in storage.
Main photo (c) Mark Steven
Did you ever see Mriya? Leave a comment below…