Fears world's biggest plane and Doncaster favourite destroyed in Ukraine fighting

The world’s biggest plane and a favourite at Doncaster Sheffield Airport is feared damaged or destroyed after Russia waged war on Ukraine.

By Darren Burke
Monday, 28th February 2022, 11:14 am

The Antonov An-225, the only one of its kind in the world, has been a regular sight in the skies over Doncaster in recent years.

The huge aircraft was based at Hostomel airport around an hour's drive from Kyiv and which has come under attack from Russian helicopters and paratroopers.

There have been conflicting reports over the fate of the cargo aircraft, designed by the Soviet Union’s Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s.

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The giant Antonov An-225 was a regular visitor to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

It is the longest and heaviest airplane ever built with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes. It also has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service.

Only one AN-225 Mryia was ever built by the company Antonov, and the giant of the skies has made several visits to Doncaster Sheffield, formerly Robin Hood in recent years.

It has been reported that the hangar housing the AN-225 has been damaged in the fighting, although this is unconfirmed.

The airport was struck by missiles prior to the attack and has reportedly been shelled by Ukrainian forces.

There are other huge Antonov aircraft also located there and the plane has been invaluable in tranporting large amounts of humanitarian aid around the world at short notice during emergencies.

On 11 June 2010, the An-225 carried the world's longest piece of air cargo, two 42.1 m (138 ft) test wind turbine blades from Tianjin, China, to Skrydstrup, Denmark.