Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov has launched a campaign to rebuild the Myria (Dream) AN-255, the world’s largest cargo lane.
The behemoth was destroyed in February 2022 by Russian forces during their invasion of Ukraine. The plane was a symbol of Ukraine’s success in the aviation manufacturing sector.
Antonov published an open letter to the citizens of the world to support a crowdfunding campaign to get the plane rebuilt.
Now, to support the effort, Ukrainian startup company Metal Time has developed a working mechanical design kit model of the Mriya AN-225 cargo plane. Profits from the sales will be donated to Antonov for rebuilding the Mriya aircraft; the rehousing of Antonov employees whose homes were destroyed by Russia; and the education and training of new aviation engineers and pilots for Ukraine.
Ukrainian technology company Awery Aviation Software has pledged its support. “Awery cannot stand by when Ukrainian cargo aviation is destroyed economically and physically, and so it was an easy decision for us to help promote the initiative by communicating this great project as much as we can,” said Vitaly Smillianets, the company’s CEO.
“Since 1991, Ukraine has celebrated the 24th of August as its day of independence and so it couldn’t be more appropriate to launch this initiative today in our national bid to ensure that Antonov Aviation continues to be a major player in the project cargo international carrier market. Please help us support this initiative by purchasing your model as soon as you can.”
The Mryia was built in the 1980s to be a Russian military transport, and was mothballed for eight years. It was then refurbished and reintroduced into commercial operation with Antonov Airlines, carrying oversized payloads. It had a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes.
The aircraft’s last commercial mission was from February 2nd to 5th, 2022, to collect almost 90 tons of COVID-19 test kits from Tianjin, China and deliver them to Billund in Denmark. The plane then returned to its base at Antonov Airport in Ukraine where it was reported destroyed by Russian forces on February 27.