International

Watch | The world’s largest cargo aircraft lost to war

Mriya or Antonov An-255 was once the world’s largest cargo aircraft. It was considered to be an aviation wonder and looked up to as a symbol of hope during the darkest hours of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But on February 27, 2022, it was destroyed by Russian forces in the ongoing war against Ukraine. Mriya now lies in ruins.

The word ‘Mriya’ means “the dream” in Ukrainian. Mriya has been operational since 1988.

The aircraft was 84 metres in length, 18.2 metres in height and had a wingspan of over 88 metres. It had an operational range of 15,400 km and a cruise speed of 800 km an hour.

It was built mainly for the transportation of the Buran shuttle orbiter, the first spacecraft to be produced as part of the Soviet Buran programme. From then to now, the aircraft undertook some record-setting flights.

There is much speculation about the future of this aviation wonder. According to Ukrainian aerospace and defence company Ukroboronprom, it will take an estimated $3 billion to repair Mriya.

They said that the restoration will be “time-consuming” and would take over five years. But other experts say repairing Mriya is out of the question.


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Printable version | Jun 10, 2022 12:05:18 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/watch-the-worlds-largest-cargo-aircraft-lost-to-war/article65342414.ece