Antonov An-225 Mriya, generally considered the largest aircraft in the world, was spotted soaring the skies over Ukraine on March 25, 2020.
The aircraft, registration number UR-82060, took off from Antonov Airport (GML), sometimes referred to as Hostomel Airport, in Kyiv, Ukraine, at 11:53 am (UTC time). The gigantic plane made several circles above northwestern Ukraine, before returning to the airport some two hours later.
Antonov An-225 Mriya – the world’s biggest aircraft – is airborne again after more than 18 months on ground.https://t.co/eUJFesjHEn— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) March 25, 2020
This is probably just a test flight after heavy maintenance. pic.twitter.com/DMyut8RWsK
On March 19, 2020, the owner of the aircraft Antonov Airlines shared some pictures, showing the gigantic super transporter rolled to the GML runway. However, Antonov An-225 Mriya did not take off for a flight at that time, based on various flight radars’ data.
«Рибний день» на аеродромі «Київ-Антонов-2» -вильоти літаків #Ан124 і #Ан22 в комерційні рейси та пробіжки #Ан225 по злітно-посадковій смузі— Antonov Company (@AntonovCompany) March 19, 2020
“Fish Day” at Kyiv-Antonov-2 Airport – #AN124 and #AN22 aircraft departure for commercial flights and runs of #AN225
Antonov An-225 Mriya is the only example ever built. Developed at the end of the 1980s for the Soviet space program, it flew for the first time in December 1988. After the fall of the USSR, the An-225 was withdrawn from use in 1994.
Antonov revived it in 2001 to make very specific deliveries such as relief efforts after natural disasters. For instance, it has transported aid to Haiti following the earthquake of 2010 and to Japan after the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.