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Russians destroy world’s largest cargo aircraft in the Battle of Hostomel

Antonov AN 225
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The Ukrainian masterpiece Mriya, world’s largest cargo airplane, was destroyed by the Russian troops on 24th February 2022. Capable of carrying upto 250 MT at a speed of 850 kmph, the 84 meter one of a kind plane was destroyed at the Hostomel Airport, just outside Kyiv. The AN-225 Mriya, designed in 1980s, was built by Antonov, the Ukrainian aeronautics manufacturer. Powered by six turbofan engines, the cargo plane’s maximum payload weight of 250 tonnes, could be carried inside or on its back. Boasting of the largest wingspan of any airplane in operational service, it took its first flight in 1988.

Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, however, was strong on prevalence even as the Mriya, or Dream in Ukrainian language, was torched.

Ukroboronprom, Ukraine’s state defence company that manages Antonov issued a statement that the cost of rebuilding the plane at USD 3 billion will be on the Russian Federation’s tab for being intentionally detrimental to Ukraine’s aviation and air cargo sector.

Hangar at the Hostomel Airport where AN-225 was stationed for repairs

NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System also recorded multiple fires at the airport, including the hangar where the AN-225 was stationed at 11.13 am. A satellite image from Maxar Technologies confirmed the fires at the Hostomel Airport.

The AN-225 carrying Buran

Though originally built during the Soviet Union’s space race with the US to transport the space shuttle Buran, the plane was often used for rescue operations and in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the AN-225 delivered relief supplies to the neighboring Dominican Republic. During the early days of the pandemic, it was used to transport medical supplies to affected areas. The plane was the most popular in the aviation world and drew crowds wherever it landed, particularly when it made star appearances at air shows.

As of now, Antonov’s official Twitter handle is yet to update the complete and final status of the airplane.

Also read: Antonov Airlines transports 70 tonnes of oxygen concentrators from Israel to India (logisticsinsider.in)

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