Ukraine aircraft manufacturer Antonov is launching an international fundraising campaign to find the $3 billion it says will be needed to build another An-225 cargo plane. The only An-225 was destroyed during a battle for control of Hostomel Antonov Airport near Kyiv in late February. It’s not clear if the aircraft was intentionally attacked or was collateral damage in the attack. Regardless, its loss struck a nerve and resulted in an outpouring of lament from all over the world. Whether that turns into an outpouring of cash remains to be seen.
Antonov issued a statement on Thursday saying it would take on the project itself but it’s a little strapped these days and needs the help. “Despite these hard times, the Antonov team is resolute in their belief that the irreversible loss of the legendary aircraft as one of the symbols of modernity cannot be allowed and that work must start on the revival of the flagship transport aircraft, AN-225 Mriy,” the company said. “We propose to establish an International Fund.”
National pride notwithstanding, there are some practical considerations involved. The An-225 was the only aircraft that could carry certain pieces of heavy equipment whose rapid deployment is needed in emergencies and national disasters. Although there has been a lot of talk about a second uncompleted An-225 existing, no one seems to know where it is. The An-225 had a maximum takeoff weight of 640 metric tons or about 1.4 million pounds.
If no-one knows where it is, it’s probably under a burned pile of debris. It’s not something you just lose in the back of your hangar, is it?
It was photographed apparently not all that long ago (judging by photo) as seen in this article: https://simpleflying.com/did-you-know-a-second-antonov-225-was-partially-built/
However, 3-BILLION dollars?!
I’m sure the folks at Antonov know where it is.
I’m just a “seat warmer”, but should the ‘225 be rebuilt, may I suggest 4 rather than 6 engines?
I sincerely hope circumstances get to the point that their plan can be completed unmolested.
3 billion is chump change today. Lobby one of the narcissistic tech oligarchs. The thought of having the worlds largest airplane with their face and name painted all over it would be very enticing I’m sure.
Just sell one of those confiscated yachts.
The fact that the only flying example was left as a sitting duck prime target begs the question, why was it not moved. They could have generated it in a few hours after the invasion began. Someone was asleep at the switch, and that kind of stupidity or non-attention should not be rewarded. Or maybe there has been no work for it and it should have met the same fate as the Spruce Goose at some museum.
I’m sure a section that remains intact (ie a wing or the tail) would be most welcome at a museum.
If only there were a large enough transport aircraft to get it there…
If fund-raising is successful (which I doubt) I certainly hope they are not going to simply recreate a 40 year old design. If there is a sustainable market for such a beast, I would hope that they start with a clean CAD-screen.