The head of the Antonov aviation company acknowledged that, in the midst of a dangerous war scenario, company was “reviving” the An-225 Mryia, the largest transport aircraft in the world, at an undisclosed site.
According to a report from our correspondent published today (November 8), Yevhen Havrylov, the acting head of the Antonov enterprise in Ukraine, confirmed to the German publication Bild that the company is now developing a second An-225 Mryia at “secret location.”
He said, “The (An-225) destroyed in the air raid equipment would be replaced with fresh equipment on the aircraft.
According to the CEO of the Antonov Corporation, the initiative to construct a brand-new An-225 aircraft will be extremely expensive, possibly costing up to $500 million USD. It says that the second aircraft is “30% complete.”
The An-225 Mryia was created by Antonov in the 1980s to support the Soviet air force’s extensive transport activities as well as the Buran space shuttle programme.
The Soviet Union intended to construct two An-225 Mryias before dissolving, but only one was finished and used before it was obliterated in a shelling strike on Antonov airfield outside of Kiev in February 2022.
In 1994, work on the second An-225 came to an end. The fuselage, wings, tail, and nose gear have all been finished, according to CNN. Based on this scrapped airframe, Ukraine is building a second An-225.
As the conflict enters its ninth month, it is still unclear who destroyed the sole An-225 that was in service. Ukraine maintains that Russia is at fault. There was no justification for them to fire artillery against the territory they control, according to Russian media, which said that their forces quickly took the Antonov airstrip after helicoptering there.
The An-225 has a length of 84 metres, a wingspan of almost 88 metres, a height of 18 metres, a weight of 285 tonnes, and a maximum take-off mass of 640 tonnes. There are six D-18T turbojet engines installed in the aircraft. The cargo area of the aircraft is 43 metres long, 6.4 metres wide, and 4.4 metres high, and it can hold up to 1,300 m3 of cargo.
The An-225 is the holder of 240 world aviation records, including the record for carrying a single load weighing almost 190 tonnes. Its total cargo capacity is 253.8 tonnes, which is more than the aircraft’s total tonnage. The US military’s three strategic transport aircraft are the C-17 Globemaster III (more than 70 tonnes), C-5 Galaxy (approximately 80 tonnes), and C-130 (about 20 tonnes).
The An-225 has high running expenses in spite of its better transit capability. More than 20 tonnes of fuel, or $6,700 USD, are thought to be consumed throughout each hour of its flight. As a result, it is only employed for exceptional operations.