Antonov says it is currently progressing on plans to build a second An-225 following the destruction of its first unit during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Ukranian company is currently doing the required work to get a second AN-225 up and running. This includes a significant amount of preparation, such as calculations and experimental design works, until a consensus can be made on the direction.
Antonov says that they are also in close discussions with key partners that would supply components for the next AN-225. These conversations are progressing positively. While talks remain a crucial part of the AN-225’s reconstruction, Antonov says only so much can be done while a war is currently ongoing.
The company says they’ll be able to progress further once a conclusion comes to the conflict truly. Antonov further adds that they expect the process to take three years from start to finish. However, the dialogue part remains an integral part of the new AN-225’s early design stages.
Antonov has said it wants to restore the AN-225 because of its true uniqueness in the space and its transport capabilities. The sheer weight that it can carry means its power is beyond any of the transporters. Unfortunately, this means there has been a significant hole left in the industry since its destruction.
Additionally, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, highlights the will to rebuild such a plane because of its importance to Ukraine and its people. The president calls a secondary airframe a tribute and memory to all those pilots who have died in the ongoing conflict.
The secondary frame is expected to share the same essential characteristics as the previous version. However, Antonov will look towards better features considering current certification and technical requirements.
The D-18T engines will remain onboard the AN-225. However, there are ongoing discussions with partners in Asia, Europe and the USA regarding potential upgrades to the avionics. These conversations are meaningful, and based on the results, Antonov can decide which direction he wishes to head.