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Drone footage of destroyed Antonov AN-225 revealed

written by Hannah Dowling | April 4, 2022

Drone footage has surfaced of the Ukrainian Antonov AN-225 destroyed by Russian attacks on Gostomel Airport near Kyiv, as Russian troops withdraw from the Ukrainian capital.

Captured by Ukrainian independent film association Babylon’13, the footage shows the aftermath of Gostomel Airport, which became a target of Russian attacks in the early days of the invasion.

The iconic aircraft, known as the world’s largest, was confirmed by Ukrainian authorities to have been “destroyed” in late February, following an air attack on the airfield by Russia.

The cargo plane, known as “Mriya”, meaning The Dream in Ukrainian, was undergoing repairs and routine maintenance at the Antonov Company at Gostomel Airport when it was attacked.

According to a statement from Ukrainian state defence company Ukroboronprom, which manages Antonov, the aircraft’s engines were “dismantled” at the time the attack started, making any attempt to move the plane impossible.

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“The plane wasn’t able to take off that day, although the appropriate commands were given,” it said.

Officials have pledged to rebuild the plane at Russia’s expense, in an endeavour that could cost over $4.1 billion, and up to five years to complete.

“Russia has hit the Mriya as a symbol of Ukraine’s aviation capabilities … which holds records for transportation of biggest commercial cargo and longest and heaviest in the history of aviation monoloading, lifting capacity,” the statement said.

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“Our task is to ensure that these costs are covered by the Russian Federation, which has caused intentional damage to Ukraine’s aviation and the air cargo sector.”

The AN-225 travelled to Australia for the first time in May 2016, when it touched down in Perth, carrying a 135-tonne generator for a resources company.

Anticipating massive public interest in the massive aircraft, Perth Airport has put up a dedicated viewing area for the public to see the six-engine behemoth.

The jumbo aircraft is powered with six Ivchenko Progress D-18T turbofan engines and weighs about 285 tonnes when empty.

At the time of its debut in 1988, the AN-225 was 50 per cent larger than any other jet in the world, and now it remains the biggest cargo aircraft in operation.

From 1988 to 1991, it was primarily operated as the transporter for Buran-class orbiters for the Soviet space program.

Then, when obtained by Antonov Airlines, it became the workhorse of transporting extremely large cargo and also has been an asset in rapidly providing supplies for disaster relief programs.

Production of a second An-225 commenced in the late 1980s, but it was never completed.

Comments (7)

  • to

    says:

    I chartered the AN225 to Perth in 2016 on behalf on our Company DB Schenker. It was such a majestic Aircraft and the Captain and Crew were so professional and amazing and they were so proud to fly this magnificent machine.
    It is just devastating to see the damage that has happened to it and all for a pointless War

  • Geoffrey Mee

    says:

    Shocking explosive scene. Very powerful aerial scenes.

    Every tree branch and leaf, car, all buildings burnt out let alone the worlds beloved Myria is comprehensively destroyed – what an enormously powerful weapon. And the heat generated has charred everything in its path.

    An astonishing radius of destruction. From these aerial scenes, and as someone who knows nothing about military grade weapons, I’d be very interested to hear from someone who can give an assessment of the type and power of the explosive device or devices that hit that area and whether this was likely to have been an aircraft launched weapon or ground based missile.

    I don’t see any craters so does that say the explosive force detonated above ground? Does that imply it was a thermobaric weapon? And do you estimate more than one device was detonated on the attack.

    How many people would have been killed in that? What about the number of burns patients.

  • Allan

    says:

    Interesting all the pits excavated amongst the airfield buildings.

  • Dave Winterflood

    says:

    I walked through that big girl at the Richmond Air Show that year where she was displayed. Very impressive. 1986.
    Great welds. They would not let me see the cockpit since spies were
    taking their photos of weapons and displays upstairs to secure.
    I walked up to their Ace pilot who had just landed his acrobatic mini
    That resembled a Pitt Special. It was red. He looked like the guy who
    stalled and crashed the SU at the Paris air show. Check how he lands sans jet and pulls in his Shute with left hand and right hand pulls out a fag and lighter ready in the one pocket to light up. We then watched the last Official fly by of our Mirage at dusk. With afterburners and the newer surviving fuel pump drive shaft designed by a mate of mine.

  • Murray

    says:

    To: Dave Winterflood
    I think you might be remembering the 1988 Richmond Air Show where the Antonov An124 visited that year – not the same aircraft – a bit smaller but the biggest aircraft at that time.

  • Ashley

    says:

    Can’t watch what happened to such a majestic aircraft.

    It reminds me of various aircrafts’ over the years’, which became literally, WMD.

  • Neil

    says:

    What a terribly sad sight!!The AN225 will be irreplaceable!!

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