While the Antonov An-225 Mriya is a one-of-a-kind aircraft, a second frame sits incomplete in Kyiv, Ukraine, after its construction was canceled due to a lack of demand. However, a second An-225 could eventually take to the skies, as UkrOboronProm is currently looking for foreign investors to help with the project.
According to local media reports, Yuriy Husyev, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UkrOboronProm, the parent company of Antonov, is looking for investors to help the Ukrainian company finish the second frame of the An-225. Husyev noted that UkrOboronProm “is currently having active talks with several countries regarding the development of Ukrainian aircraft fleet,” reported Kyiv Post.
Husyev stated that the state-owned Ukrainian company would visit Aero India 2021, an air show taking place between February 3 and February 7, 2021. The event’s website lists Antonov as one of the exhibitors.
“In early February, we plan to visit one of the largest exhibitions in Bangalore, India, with proposals from Antonov and UkrOboronProm on cooperation in aviation, avionics and joint projects,” the chief executive was quoted on local media. However, the project seemingly would rely on foreign investors as Husyev highlighted that the project to complete the second An-225 “is always a matter of customers.”
“There is an airplane, but there are no engines and avionics,” the acting Director General of Antonov, Sergii Bychkov, was quoted as saying.
When AeroTime News approached Antonov for comment, the company referred to UkrOboronProm. AeroTime News has not yet received an answer from the latter.
This would not be the first time that talks of a second Antonov An-225 Mriya being finished have occurred. Previously, Antonov and China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation (CASIC) agreed to a deal to resume production of the Mriya in August 2016. The project, split into two phases, would have firstly completed the second airframe, while the second phase would restart the serial production of the An-225 under license in China. However, the project never materialized.
The Antonov An-225, specifically built to carry the Soviet shuttle Buran, first flew in 1988. The aircraft was placed into long-term storage once the Soviet Union collapsed, taking the space program together with it. The Ukrainian company began restoring it in 2000 and it once again flew commercially in 2002. Throughout 2020, the aircraft (registered as UR-82060), has hauled cargo, including items to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, across the world. However, the aircraft has not flown for the past three months, flightradar24.com data shows.