a plane that has been demolished
Photo: photowalking / Shutterstock

Work Underway: New Photo Update on Destroyed Antonov An-225

This post was brought to you by Simple Flying. Written By Jonathan E. Hendry.

  • Photos reveal the current state of the world’s largest aircraft, the An-225, with the rear fuselage disassembled and the wings and nose section removed.
  • It remains uncertain where the aircraft’s parts will be taken, but there are ongoing reports that some may be used to complete a second An-225.
  • Three of the aircraft’s D-18T engines have been repaired and will continue to support the Antonov Ruslan fleet.

Photos have emerged from Hozumel, where the remains of the world’s largest aircraft lie under the shell of an airplane hangar. Following the Antonov’s An-225’s destruction last year, there has been much speculation as to what will become of the aircraft and if it will ever fly again.

What is it like now?

Pictures taken last month show the rear fuselage of the aircraft, with the wings and nose section removed. The aircraft had been steadily disassembled over the past year and little remains. Its signature double rear empennage is nowhere to be seen.

An-225 in the hangar

The wings can now be seen to the side on supports with the engines removed. Photos from the airport show the wreckage from the battle and other sabotaged aircraft has since been cleaned up. The roof to the hangar was reportedly removed to prevent it from falling on the An-225 while it was being dismantled.

It is unclear what happened to the front of the aircraft, which was severely damaged in the strike. Another photo taken last month shows a small amount of debris, which bears the signature livery in the colors of the Ukrainian flag next to two surviving aircraft.


Igor Lesiv, the photographer who visited the Hostomel Airport in August to see the status of the An-225, told Insider it was being “disassembled for storage.”

What happens next?

It is not immediately apparent where the parts are being taken. Reassembling the aircraft would require significant work in facilities that no longer exist. There have been ongoing reports that some parts could go toward completing a second An-225, which has remained partially finished for quite some time. The center of the fuselage remains surprisingly intact, with the airplane’s legendary set of wheels still attached.


The country’s president indicated he supported replacing the aircraft, often seen as a symbol of national pride. Initial reposts indicated that completing the other sister aircraft could cost over $500 million. However, given the care in which the An-225 is being disassembled and stored, what will be done with the aircraft’s parts remains to be seen.

Simple Flying spoke to Antonov regarding the project, with the company confirming it is not providing public information regarding the program at the moment to protect the safety of its employees:

“Taking into consideration the current situation in Ukraine, ANTONOV Company, as a strategic enterprise of the aircraft industry, is not able to comment status of the programs developed by the company at present. It is explained by [the] necessity to provide safety for the ANTONOV team as well as its production facilities. We will be glad to inform you about this and other questions concerning ANTONOV’s activity after removal of these essential restrictions.”

Some parts are back in the air.

Photos taken after the initial incident show one wing attached with all three engines on that side. The engines on the opposite side were severely damaged and have since been removed.

An-225 in ruins

According to Deputy CEO of Antonov, Maksym Sanotskyi, three of the An-225’s six D-18T engines have been repaired. The D-18T engines are used on both the An-225 and the An-125 Ruslans, allowing Mriya’s engines to continue supporting the fleet.

The An-225 set a host of records during its time in active service. While most famously carrying the heaviest payload in history of 253,820kg (559,577 pounds), it set over one hundred additional national and world records.

Source: Insider, Deutsche Welle

This post was brought to you by Simple Flying. Written By Jonathan E. Hendry.