By Philip R. Devlin.
(March 5, 2022) — The Antonov AN-225 Mriya (“Dream”) was the largest plane ever built. It landed at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks 31 years ago this week and stayed from March 5-17, 1991. The plane was on a humanitarian mission. On board was 11 year-old Marianka Romotck, a victim of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and her mother. Open for tours, monies were raised for “The Children of Chernobyl Relief Fund.” Returning to the Ukraine, it carried 200 tons of medical supplies and equipment for other victims of the Chernobyl Disaster in northern Ukraine. Last week on February 27, 2022, Russian attackers sadly destroyed the giant Myria airplane at Antonov Airport, where it was receiving maintenance on one of its engines.
Designed and built in Ukraine, the enormous AN-225 first flew on December 21, 1988. The cargo plane once airlifted a payload exceeding 545,000 pounds! The Myria was 270 feet long and had an incredible wingspan of 294 feet! It was powered by six enormous jet engines with over 51,000 lbs of thrust in each. Its maximum speed was 530 mph and had a range of 9,600 miles. The plane frequently flew at international air shows. (Note the blue and yellow colors of Ukraine under the nose.) Reconstruction of this remarkable plane that once landed in Connecticut is estimated to be in excess of $3 billion dollars.