Antonov An-225: World's biggest plane destroyed in Ukraine, BBC reporter confirms

The world's biggest plane - which was regularly seen in the skies of Yorkshire - has been destroyed by Russian troops in Ukraine, it has been confirmed.

BBC's war correspondent Jeremy Bowen showed the wreckage of the Antonov An-225 - which would regularly be seen at Doncaster Sheffield Airport - in his latest report of the devastating destruction which can be seen around Kyiv.

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

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The Russians have now abandoned the area and in his latest report from Ukraine, Bowen showed viewers the devastation in the area, including the wreckage of the cargo plane, which has been totally destroyed.

The BBC's Jeremy Bowen has confirmed the destruction of the Antonov 225 in Ukraine. (Photo: BBC)

He said: “In the midst of it all, there’s this – this is the wreck that was the Mryia, the dream, Myria in Ukrainian.

"It was the world’s biggest cargo aircraft.

"A huge amount of national pride was wrapped up in this – it was a symbol of modernity, of Ukraine’s place in the world, striking out across the globe – and now it’s a symbol of what’s happened to the country.”

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The aircraft, designed by the Soviet Union’s Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980, was the longest and heaviest airplane ever built with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes. It also had 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, attracting scores of aviation buffs.

In February it was reported that the hangar housing the AN-225 had been damaged in the fighting. The airport was struck by missiles prior to the attack and has reportedly been shelled by Russian forces.

There were other huge Antonov aircraft also located there and the plane had 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.