The history of the An-225 began more than 30 years ago, at the time conceived to proceed hand in hand with two other overtly ambitious Soviet aerospace programmes – the An-124 Ruslan strategic military transport aircraft and a re-usable space system similar to the US space shuttle. Design activities for the An-124 were launched at the Kiev-based Antonov Design Bureau in the late 1960s, to meet a Soviet Union Ministry of Defence requirement to replace the An-22 Antey turboprop airlifter and get an equivalent of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy that was fielded by the US Air Force in 1969. The programme proved a notably protracted undertaking due to numerous conceptual problems and the design was not frozen until the late 1970s, while the An-124’s maiden flight did not take place until December 1982.
Airliner World reflects on the long career of An-225 Mriya and ponders what happens next for Kyiv’s cargo-hauling colossus.
A video circulating on social media reportedly confirms that the world’s only Antonov An-225 was in fact destroyed during fighting at Gostomel Airport near Kyiv in Ukraine.
Following days of conflict in Ukraine, one of the largest aircraft ever built, the Antonov An-225 Mriya has been destroyed by Russian forces, according to Ukrainian officals