The world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov AN-225, has been destroyed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials, generating alarm and sadness among the aviation world in which it occupies almost cult status.

The enormous aircraft, named “Mriya,” or “dream” in Ukrainian, was parked at an airfield near Kyiv when it was attacked by “Russian occupants,” Ukrainian authorities said, adding that they would rebuild the plane.

AN-225 transporting the Soviet answer to the Space Shuttle.

As someone with a passing interest in aircraft, I’ve been familiar with the AN-225 for a while now. As the largest plane ever built, it’s quite the impressive specimen. With the ability to carry an unfathomable 1.5 million lbs in total weight, with 660,000 lbs just in fuel alone when full up, the plane is an absolute collossus. 

Or I suppose I should say, was. Sadly it was destroyed on the ground during some sort of airport conflict. I don’t know if it was artillery, rockets, missiles, or anything else that is responsible for the AN-225’s destruction, but it doesn’t really matter. 

I’ve always had a fascination with an appreciation for megaprojects like this. I got distracted for far too long looking up the biggest airplanes in the world, but the AN-225 is one of two types of planes, the other being the Airbus A-380, with maximum takeoff weights north of a million pounds. There is something evocative about seeing such gigantic machines. Something that is very much missing in our day to day lives.

There really is no reason why our cities should be so much uglier than Italy’s. No reason, other than that we have a hostile Democracy Class that is entirely uninterested in building great public works for the people.

Sadly, the AN-225 is no more. 

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  1. Damn, I knew about the story when it first broke but this is the first photo that has been released. I figured that “destroyed” just meant minor damage that would be too expensive to repair, but that thing really must have taken a direct hit.

  2. There’s a second unfinished one

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