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Fri, Nov 11, 2022

Antonov An-225 Begins Reconstruction

The Mriya Might Actually Rise Again

The immense An-225 could actually be more salvageable than originally imagined, according to a post by Ukrainian state-owned Antonov. 

While the majority of the airframe was ruined in the battles and resulting fires at Hostomel Airport, construction on a replacement has begun and more than 30% of the original’s parts could be salvaged for reuse. The company addressed rumors that construction started earlier this year, saying that reports had overestimated how quickly the equipment could be adequately assessed by experts. In February, similarly state-owned Ukroboronprom promised that the Mriya would be reconstructed, at a staggering cost of more than $3 billion over a 5-year period. For now, Antonov isn’t shooting for such a lofty price tag. 

"According to the available expert estimate, there are currently about 30 percent of the components that can be used for the second model aircraft,” said Antonov.

“The cost of building the plane is estimated at least €500 million . However, it's early to talk about a certain amount." How much headway they've made was not disclosed, and to date no photographs have been released to illustrate the level of work required. 

The 250-ton payload made the aircraft a singular offering in the charter cargo market, one that took on an aspect of national pride as the largest aircraft in commercial service since 2001. The aircraft was inherited from the Soviet space program, originally designed to transport the Buran space shuttle and carrier rockets. While some parts and sister airframes exist, completing them has long been prohibitively expensive, given their age and incomplete status. The best way to make another An-225, it seems, is to bring the old girl back to life. 



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