Mriya, the world’s largest and strongest cargo jet and the holder of numerous flight records, was destroyed during the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, but Ukraine will do everything possible to bring it back to life.
Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, has revealed his plan to build another Mriya in honour of pilots who suffered and died during the war, particularly during the defence of Mariupol.
He also stated that there was once a plan to build a second replica of this one-of-a-kind plane, but it never came to fruition. Even before the invasion, Zelensky considered restoring the aircraft, but the government could not raise the $800 million required.
“We wanted to build it; we needed $800 million. I appealed to the President of Turkey with a proposal to build the 2nd MRIYA, but we did not find the money,” he said.
“But in this case, it’s not a matter of money; it’s a matter of ambition. We were approached by Ukroboronprom, the Antonov team. This is a question of the image of our country and all the excellent professional pilots who died in this war,” Zelensky also said.
He referred to them as heroic people. “How much they have done, and today we can already say how many lives of people who remained in Mariupol, especially in Azovstal, they saved. How many pilots gave their lives to bring everything there, from weapons to water. And how many wounded they took from there. A large number of these people died heroically,” the President said.
“To build a Mriya for the sake of the memory of heroes is the right state position,” Zelensky stressed.
Mriya was destroyed in late February 2022 during a conflict in Ukraine when Russian forces attacked the town of Hostomel. The cargo plane was caught in the middle of the region’s warfare and burnt to the ground. Following the conflict, Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov’s team surveys revealed that Mriya could not be restored, and the plane has gone forever.
The An-225 MRIYA is a beast that holds world records for the transfer of most commercial cargo and the longest and largest single-cargo carrying capacity in aviation history. It was 275 feet (83 metres) long and had a wingspan of 290 feet (88 metres). As a result, Mriya could carry huge loads like the Soviet-era Space Shuttle. The aircraft was outfitted with six turbofan engines, each capable of delivering 51,600 pounds of power at takeoff.