Numerous Ukrainians lost hope four months ago, at the start of the conflict, upon hearing that the largest cargo jet in the world, manufactured in their country, had been destroyed in a fierce battle. Mriya, which means “The Dream” in Ukrainian, was Ukraine’s pride. Only one was ever built. It was a global aircraft celebrity. Now it was a twisted wreckage.
The efforts to resurrect Mriya received a significant boost Richard Branson the British aerospace mogul, visited the airfield in Hostomel, a city near Kyiv, where the plane had been based. On Wednesday, Ukrainian aerospace experts discussed the possibility of rebuilding it.
A Virgin Group representative, Branson was determining what would be required to restore the aircraft. The attention will turn to identifying methods that the worldwide community might assist the project and contribute in the reconstruction of Ukraine’s airfield and aviation sector.
According to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Branson had “stated his desire to help in any way he can,” according to Ukrainian MP David Arakhamia.
Ukrainian defenders eventually drove them away, but the airfield and Mriya were both destroyed as a result of a direct hit from an explosive shell. The Antonov An-225 Mriya was the largest and heaviest aircraft in the air at 276 feet long and six floors tall it weighed more than a 747 with all of its passengers and cargo on board. Turbine blades or even smaller jets could be placed into its cavernous belly through the opening in the nose cone, which flipped up. Built in 1988 as part of the Soviet space program, it was still flying until February, ferrying COVID-19 supplies.
Ukrainian officials have vowed to rebuild it using a second, partially completed Mriya fuselage that is now stored in undisclosed aeroplane manufacturer. However, they have recognized that the project would exceed $1 billion in costs and that they want outside assistance, which is why they were thrilled about Branson’s arrival.
Ukrainian news media also said Branson was interested in helping rebuild the Hostomel airport.Three million unique commemorative Mriya postage stamps were produced by Ukraine. They were expected to be sold out before the end of this week.