Destroyed by Russia, the largest cargo plane in the world will be rebuilt
“It’s a question of ambition, of our country’s image,” said the Ukrainian president.
The destruction of the Mriya at the end of February did not leave aviation enthusiasts indifferent. Like many other vehicles, this Antonov An-225 – the largest cargo plane in the world – had borne the brunt of the Russian offensive. But the jewel of Ukrainian aeronautics will soon be reborn from its ashes, like a particularly paunchy yellow and blue phoenix.
This aviation giant holds several records, including the largest commercial cargo capacity in aviation history. And President Zelensky has announced that it will be rebuilt, according to a statement from Interfax-Ukraine spotted by Interesting Engineering.
The interested party begins by explaining that the Ukrainian government had already thought of producing a second copy of this machine, which until then was unique in the world. Unfortunately, the project could not materialize, fault with the pharaonic invoice which amounted to 800 million dollars.
“Not a question of money“
But the deal has changed since the start of the Russian invasion. The Ukrainian government takes its role of David against Goliath very seriously; he now considers that the production of a second Mriya is totally justified. And it’s not about strategy, but above all about symbolism and national pride.
“In this case, it is no longer a question of money. It’s a question of ambition”, affirmed Zelensky during a meeting with students reported by Interfax-Ukraine. “It’s a question of the image of our country and of all the excellent professional pilots who died during this war.”, he insists before addressing a strong tribute to the soldiers in question.
Confirmation the AN-225 was destroyed in battles at the Gostomel airport north of Kyiv, along with a lot of military equipment pic.twitter.com/GGX0bZQ2YT
— ELINT News (@ELINTNews) March 3, 2022
“Today, we are already beginning to see how much they have done to save the lives of people who remained in Mariupol, especially in the Azovstal area… How many pilots gave their lives to bring weapons, ‘water. How many were injured they evacuated. Many of these people died as heroes”, he hammered in front of his young audience before reaffirming his desire to rebuild a Mriya in their honor.
But Zelenksy may say that it is not “not a question of money”, the constructor will not not being able to pull such a behemoth out of its hat. Even if the manufacturer is directly attached to the Ukrainian government through the agency Ukroboronprom. Either way, Zelensky and his partners will have plenty of time to discuss funding. It will likely take several years to assemble the successor to the colossus.