Saturday, November 26, 2022

Mriya aircraft endures minor breakdown in Poland

by Illia PonomarenkoJanuary 10, 2022 7:11 pm
Antonov An-225 Mriya aircraft takes off at the Hostomel airfield outside Kyiv on April 11, 2020. (Illia Ponomarenko/The Kyiv Independent)

The world's largest cargo aircraft An-225 Mriya operated by Ukraine's legendary Antonov company has endured a technical problem at an airfield in Poland.

The incident took place at the Rzeszów–Jasionka Airport on Jan. 10 in the country's southeast, according to Antonov. During a touchdown, the aircraft's right-side landing gear unit lost its bolts fixing its gear-position transmitter, the report says.

"The revealed breakdown had no effect on the security of Mriya's flight and landing," the company said.

"With the bolts replaced, the aircraft's operational capacity is going to be replaced. (Mriya) is going to carry on with its commercial flight."

Antonov also sent technicians to Poland to get the issue fixed.

According to Ukrainian media reports, the Mriya arrived in Rzeszow, where it was hailed by numerous aviation fans, from Istanbul.

The Mriya was built by Antonov in Kyiv and took its maiden flight in November 1988.

It was originally designed to transport spacecraft components as part of the Soviet space shuttle project Buran. The heavy aircraft was also supposed to be used for the Buran's air launches.

With its wingspan over 88 meters, the giant is capable of carrying up to 250 metric tons of payload. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it is used by Antonov Airlines, the company's air carrier, for extra-large commercial freight transportation service across the world.

The Mriya has a twin, a second An-225 aircraft, unfinished since the late 1980s. According to Antonov, completing the second An-225 for commercial transportation rather than a large space program is not cost-effective and demands at least $700 million in investment.

Illia Ponomarenko
Illia Ponomarenko
Defense reporter

Illia Ponomarenko is the defense and security reporter at the Kyiv Independent. He has reported about the war in eastern Ukraine since the conflict’s earliest days. He covers national security issues, as well as military technologies, production, and defense reforms in Ukraine. Besides, he gets deployed to the war zone of Donbas with Ukrainian combat formations. He has also had deployments to Palestine and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as an embedded reporter with UN peacekeeping forces. Illia won the Alfred Friendly Press Partners fellowship and was selected to work as USA Today's guest reporter at the U.S. Department of Defense.

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