Antonov company can reuse 30% of old components and spend at least 500 million USD to rebuild the legendary aircraft transport An-225.
Antonov An-225 aircraft before being destroyed during the Russian-Ukrainian war. Photo: Interesting Engineering
According to an announcement on November 8 by the Antonov company, engineers have begun to design the second Antonov An-225 cargo jet. Also known as the Mriya, the project to rebuild a giant plane with a wingspan of 88 meters will cost at least $500 million. According to the company, the number could increase further because it is too early to discuss specific costs.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also shared about the project of rebuilding the aircraft model. It is not clear where the budget for the Antonov An-225 comes from. The company’s previous announcement said Virgin Airways, owned by billionaire Richard Branson, would provide the funding.
Ukroboronprom, Antonov’s parent company, initially estimated the repair process would take more than five years and cost more than $3 billion. After a thorough assessment, the Antonov company said that about 30% of the original aircraft’s components destroyed during the Russia-Ukraine war could be used to build new aircraft.
On December 21, 1988, the An-225 took off for the first time from the airport of the production plant in Svyatoshyn, piloted by the crew headed by Oleksandr Galunenko. The An-225 was developed to transport the Buran space shuttle and its components for the Energiya rocket. It is expected that An-225 will also serve as a launch pad for a reusable aerospace transport system (MAKS), in which a plane on the first stage and a small space shuttle equipped with a tank can be used. fuel is located in the second floor.
An-225 has a payload of 640 tons, is equipped with 6 engines and 32 landing gear. It can carry extremely heavy loads, up to 250 tons in the inner compartment, or carry oversized items up to 200 tons in the body. In the late 1980s, a second An-225 was built. But after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1990, this plan was abandoned. To date, only one An-225, under the management of Antonov air carrier, is still in service before being destroyed in February 2022.