The world's largest transport aircraft, Antonov An-225 Mriya, has been destroyed in the shelling of Gostomel airfield near Kiev. Only one aircraft of the project has been built, and the wreckage of it was shown in a report by Channel One.
The TV channel showed what has been left of the bombed Gostomel airport. The correspondent of the channel said that the Ukrainian military shelled the airfield after Russian paratroopers occupied it. One of the artillery shells hit the hangar, where the world's largest transport aircraft, the An-225 Mriya, was parked.
Ukraine's Ukroboronprom was the first to report the destruction of the aircraft on February 27. The company said that the restoration of the aircraft would cost about $3 billion. It will take at least five years to recreate the aircraft.
Antonov-225 Mriya (translates as 'Dream' from Ukrainian) was built in the USSR at the Kiev Mechanical Plant in 1988. The aircraft took off for its maiden flight on December 21 of the same year. Originally, it was planned to build two of such aircraft, but only one eventually materialised. After the collapse of the USSR, the aircraft became the property of Ukraine.
The An-225 Mriya was built to transport the Buran space shuttle of the USSR. It was planned to use the An-225 as the first stage of the spacecraft air launch system, which required the aircraft to carry at least 250 tons.
The Mriya took off for its last flight in April 2020, when it was on a government flight on the Kiev-Tianjin-Warsaw route to deliver supplies to combat the coronavirus infection in Poland. After that, the aircraft was put under maintenance at Gostomel airport.
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