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Shannon Airport Remembers The Destroyed Antonov An-225

A new exhibit at Shannon Airport has commemorated the famous Antonov AN-225, the world’s largest ever aircraft that was destroyed in Ukraine earlier this year. The airport’s Aviation Gallery now houses a 1– 200 scale model of the AN-225, which was a frequent visitor to Shannon Airport during its time in service.

Shannon Airport honors the AN-225

Shannon Airport’s renowned Aviation Gallery, which showcases over 1,500 specialist diecast aircraft models, has added one of the world’s most iconic aircraft – the Antonov AN-225 Mriya. The model was visited by Captain Dmytro Antonov, Chief pilot for Antonov Airlines, who had flown the mammoth aircraft for many years.

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Mary Considine, CEO of Shannon Airport Group, said,

“It was an honour to have Dmytro visit our aviation gallery to see the new Mriya exhibit on display and we would like to thank Michael for all his work in finding this rare model.”

As Simple Flying readers will know, the iconic AN-225 was destroyed in February during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. It was the only AN-225 produced, taking its first flight in 1988 and carrying all kinds of interesting cargo over the years, including battle tanks and wind turbine blades.

According to the most recent reports, the wreckage of the aircraft remains in Kyiv after it was destroyed during a Russian bombing attack at Gostomel Airport. In May, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pledged $800 million to rebuild the AN-225 in honor of Ukrainian pilots.

Rare scale model

Shannon Airport’s Aviation Gallery opened up in 2018 and is located in the departure lounge. Michael Kelly, who donated his collection of aircraft models to Shannon Airport, helped the airport find a rare scale model of the AN-225.

Kelly said,

“I am delighted Captain Dmytro got to see this exhibit here in Shannon. He has been the face of Antonov and has flown the entire range of the company’s airplanes, including the AN-124, which now holds the title as the world’s heaviest aircraft since the AN-225 was destroyed. When I was asked by Shannon’s team to help them source a scale model of this incredible aircraft, I made it my mission, and we got there in the end. It’s incredible that Shannon owns this rare collector’s item. You could travel the world to get a “gear down” 1-200 scale model of the AN-225, and still not find one available – they are like gold dust.”

The carbon fiber 1-200 scale model, measuring around 14×14 inches, was eventually sourced from the Netherlands and has become a permanent part of the collection. Additionally, the Aviation Gallery also houses a scale model of the first iteration of the AN-225 under the Russian VKK Space Orbiter program, created using waste metal from old aircraft.

The AN-225 and Shannon Airport

Shannon Airport is very much familiar with Antonov AN-225 having welcomed the giant plane frequently over the past 20 years. According to the airport, “Shannon Airport has the longest runway in Ireland at 3,200 metres and is the only Irish airport that can accommodate the world’s largest jet – the Antonov AN 225.”

The giant aircraft made several trips to Shannon Airport in recent years. Photo: Getty Images

Mriya was last seen in Shannon back in October 2021 on a cargo mission from China. The aircraft played a crucial role in transporting medical supplies during the COVID pandemic, notably in June 2020 when it delivered the largest consignment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be flown into Ireland on a single flight.

Did you ever spot the Antonov AN-225 Mriya? Let us know your stories in the comments.


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