$500 Million To Rebuild An-225


Ukraine aircraft manufacturer Antonov says it will likely cost about $500 million to return the An-225 to the skies. The only flying version of the cargo plane was destroyed during fighting in the early days of the Russian invasion. The plane was in an open-ended hangar at Hostomel Airport near Kyiv last February when Russian paratroopers overran the airport to establish a base for taking Kyiv. The enormous aircraft, the biggest in the world, posed no threat to the invaders and had little strategic value but it was set on fire during fighting for the airport.

Most of the damage was to the front fuselage and wings. The fuselage was all but severed by the fire and most of the engines were wrecked. The destruction of the aircraft, named Mryia, or Dream, became a rallying point for the Ukrainian resistance. Russia never was able to use the airport to stage an assault on the city, and the An-225 has lain in ruins since. There is a second partially built An-225 and it’s not clear whether Antonov would use that airframe for the new aircraft or salvage what it can from the wreck of the other one and rebuild it. It also hasn’t said how it intends to raise the money for the project.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Whether they eventually rebuild using the 2nd airframe or repairing this one will have to wait for the end of the Russian debacle. At least there ARE options available if they can fund them. I had thought Mryia was totally destroyed.

  2. So, it needs at least 4 engines, a wing center section, and the entire forward fuselage?
    Half a billion to rebuild a hangar queen does not seem likely.

  3. Not going to happen.
    It’s a nice thought, and may help rally some support. But it’s completely unrealistic, especially going into what is looking like a severe global downturn, possibly even a depression.

  4. Not sure there’s a business case. It made sense when there was an airplane just sitting around after the Cold War not earning money. $500M is a lot of investment to recoup.

  5. I heard an unsubstantiated rumor that the Chinese have hinted they may be willing to fund some of the restoration. It would be interesting to know how much the aircraft originally cost to design and build. As for its “business case”, the original intent was as a transport for the Russian version of the space shuttle, so cost was not a deciding factor. There are certain projects that the 225 is the only civilian craft capable of carrying the load or size. However, I’m not sure there are enough of them to justify the cost of reconstruction.