Seven months since the destruction of the Antonov An-225 Mriya at Hostomel Airport, Ukraine is already working on plans to rebuild the largest cargo aircraft in the world. While the road to Mriya’s fame has been long and bumpy, no one is questioning the necessity to rebuild the aircraft, which has taken on immeasurable symbolic importance for Ukraine.

So, how did one aircraft become such an important wartime symbol, and how likely is it that one day the Mriya will fly again? AeroTime answers these questions - and more - in the first of our new series, AeroTime Explains.

Also, you can check out AeroTime’s extensive coverage on the life, death, and possible rebirth of the Mriya.

The chronology of loss

AeroTime extensively covered the sad destruction of the Mriya in the early days of the war in Ukraine. You can read some of our coverage below.

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Unconfirmed footage from Hostomel Airport in Ukraine shows the wreckage of the Antonov An-225 Mriya destroyed in its hangar.
 
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Reports suggest Hostomel airport, the base of Antonov, has been recaptured from retreating Russian forces
 
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Dmytro Antonov, the chief pilot of the An-225 Mriya, posted a video revealing the destruction at the base of Antonov Airlines
 
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Ukrainian president Zelensky announces his intention to rebuild the Antonov An-225 Mriya to honor pilots who died in the war
 
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AeroTime interviews the captain of the An-225 Mriya Dmytro Antonov about the company, its aircraft, and its vision for the future
 

The An-225’s most impressive moments

The Mriya was a sight to behold. Almost every one of its missions was memorable and unique in some way. Let’s take a look at some of these feats. 

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The Antonov An-225 Mriya returned to its base near Kyiv following a 20-day mission.
 
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After delivering helicopters from Afghanistan, Antonov An-225 Mriya, the world’s largest aircraft, blasted the perimeter fence of RAF Brize Norton.
 
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After returning to base for a routine checkup of its six engines that lasted for a month, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, the world’s largest operating aircraft, is finally back into the skies. Its first mission is taking it to Bangor International Airport (BGR), United States.
 
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Antonov An-225 Mriya, the largest aircraft in the world, had a busy week participating in the coronavirus outbreak relief effort. Along the way, the super-sized transporter seemingly broke the record for cargo volume transported by air twice.
 
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The Antonov An-225 Mriya, the world's largest plane, started participating in the coronavirus crisis effort. The giant completed its first commercial flight between Tianjin, China, and Warsaw, Poland, transporting medical equipment, including 7 million masks.
 

Trivia time

The story of the An-225’s creation is certainly unique. Here, you can take a deep dive into the details of this unforgettable plane.

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On this day in 1988, the largest commercial aircraft, the Antonov An-225 took off for the first time for a test flight. We look back at that day and some history of the six-engine aircraft.
 
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Some of the most intriguing facts about the world's largest aircraft, the Antonov An-225 Mriya!
 
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Imagine that you are building an airport. How big should it be to accommodate the Antonov An-225 Mriya, the largest aircraft in the world?
 

Dreams for the Mriya

A relic of the ambitious Soviet space program, the An-225 was the subject of many unrealized projects. Some saw the aircraft launching spaceplanes, while others envisioned the Mriya as a passenger plane. There were even plans targeted at building more Mriyas.

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Antonov An-225 Mriya, the world's largest cargo plane, has an unfinished sister with a surprisingly long and twisted story.
 
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Antonov An-225 Mriya is, arguably, the largest plane flying today. Hard to believe, but in the 80s there were plans to build a twin-fuselage version of it.
 
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The famous An-225 Mriya was designed to be able to launch spacecraft into orbit from its back. Meet MAKS: a space plane designed specifically for that.
 
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Ukraine is reviving its plans to complete the second frame of Antonov An-225. However, the mammoth task will not be easy to handle alone.
 

Test your knowledge

Now you’ve come this far, are you ready to test your knowledge of the An-225, its sisters and competitors? 

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Antonov is one if the best known aircraft manufacturers, famous for its gargantuan transport airplanes. How well do you know them?
 
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Take this quiz and discover the exceptional skills and means that it requires lifting the biggest planes from the ground.
 
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From An-225 Mriya to Super Guppy, do you know everything there is to know about the greatest cargo giants?