World’s largest plane, destroyed early in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, being rebuilt in ‘secret location’

Russia Ukraine War Photo Gallery
A Ukrainian serviceman walks by the Antonov An-225 Mriya aircraft destroyed during fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces on the Antonov airport in Hostomel, Ukraine, Saturday, April 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) Vadim Ghirda/AP

World’s largest plane, destroyed early in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, being rebuilt in ‘secret location’

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The iconic Antonov An-225, the world’s largest plane which was destroyed during fighting early in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is being rebuilt in a “secret facility.”

Antonov General Director Eugene Gavrylov made the announcement to Bild, adding that it is about 30% complete. The beloved aircraft was totally destroyed in its hangar during fighting at Gostomel airport in the first days of the war in Ukraine when Russian paratroopers launched a surprise assault on the strategic location. The bombed-out wreckage of the plane become an early symbol of the war’s destruction, and its reemergence could serve as inspiration for the embattled country.

WORLD’S LARGEST AIRCRAFT DESTROYED DURING RUSSIAN ASSAULT ON AIRPORT

“Work on the new aircraft continues at a secret facility. The second AN-225, which was never completed, will be supplemented with parts from the bombed-out aircraft in addition to new parts,” Gavrylov told Bild.

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He estimates that the total cost of the aircraft will be 500 million Euros. In order to help raise funds for its construction, Antonov will be selling models of the aircraft at Leipzig airport in Germany, a location which the original AN-225 frequented before its destruction.

The original Soviet-made “Mriya” made its maiden flight on Dec. 21, 1988. It was initially designed as a space shuttle transport. The engineering marvel had the ability to “deliver extra-heavy oversize cargo to any point on the globe carrying it either inside the fuselage or on external stores,” according to the Antonov website. With a 290-foot wingspan and length of 275.6 feet, the plane broke several aviation records before its untimely demise, including the heaviest aircraft cargo and longest cargo run.

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