Design work has begun.
The destruction of the world’s largest plane was one of the key images at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Antonov An-225 cargo plane, which had an 88-meter (290-feet) wingspan, was destroyed by Russian forces in an airfield near Kyiv in February.
Now, the state-owned Ukrainian manufacturer of the plane, Antonov Co., have said in a statement posted on Facebook that design work has begun on a second unit of the aircraft.
“According to available expert estimates, currently there are about 30% of components that can be used for the second model of the aircraft,” the company said, adding that the exact details of reconstruction will only be released “after Ukraine wins this war.”
The company predicted a bill of over €500 million to build the new plane, however, it was not immediately clear how financing will be obtained for such an effort, with Ukraine’s economy under significant stress due to the conflict.
Nicknamed “Mriya” — Ukrainian for “dream” — the massive plane was built in the 1980s to carry the Soviet space shuttle.
The Mriya was originally built as a support plane meant to carry orbiters for the Soviet space program.
Two planes were supposed to be built, but once the Soviet Union collapsed, construction of the second plane halted and the Mriya went into storage.
It later emerged in the early 2000s, and was famous for carrying some of the largest cargo loads ever, winning cult status among self-styled avgeeks.
Look at what they did to the world’s biggest cargo aircraft.
Antonov An-225 Mriya memorial hangar at the Hostomel Airfield. pic.twitter.com/nTu2wwKcF4
— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) May 5, 2022