In the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Antonov An-225 “Mriya,” the largest aircraft in the world, was destroyed in a Russian attack on the Antonov Airport near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
The plane, 275 feet long with a wingspan stretching 290 feet, could carry 550,000 pounds of cargo, according to the aircraft’s manufacturer, Antonov Co., which would also make it the world’s heaviest aircraft. In comparison, the Boeing 747-8, one of the largest commercial planes in use, is 250 feet long with a 224-foot wingspan.
In use since 1988, Mriya was recently used mainly to transport medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ukrainian aerospace and defense company Ukroboronprom confirmed the wreckage in a Feb. 27 Facebook post, saying the plane was undergoing repairs at the airport, so it did not have time to flee before the attack, But the company said the plane “will definitely be restored,” estimating it would take more than five years and cost about $ 3 billion.
“The invaders destroyed the plane, but they will not be able to destroy our common dream. She will surely be reborn,” Ukroboronprom wrote.
As Ukrainian troops guarded the entrance to Antonov Airport to protect the runway, the wreckage of the Mriya could be seen underneath a hangar, pockmarked with holes from the February attack.
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Contributing: Ella Lee, Karina Zaiets, George Petras, Javier Zarracina, USA TODAY; Associated Press
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @ jordan_mendoza5.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Photos show wreckage of world’s largest airplane in Ukraine