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Destroyed Ukrainian airplane, the world’s largest, to live on in Microsoft Flight Simulator

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One of the early casualties of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine was the Antonov 225 Meria, the world’s largest airplane. Now, a London-based software company called iniBuilds hopes to bring it back to life. Microsoft Flight Simulator, This announcement was made on Wednesday on twitterNotes that the proceeds from the proposed $19.99 add-on would go to its creator, Antonov, and Ukraine.

The Antonov 225 first flew in 1988. Heavy lift aircraft were originally built to transport Russian space orbiters, specifically the “Russian Space Shuttle” known as Buran. It had a stated maximum takeoff weight of 640 metric tons—roughly equivalent to 350 Ford F-150 pickup trucks. It held the world records for heaviest aircraft and longest wingspan.

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Destroyed Antonov An-225

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The Antonov 225 is photographed at Hostomel Airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine, in July 2022.
Photo: Christophe Gateau / The Picture Alliance via Getty Images

It was destroyed, along with its unfinished siblings, in the early weeks of the invasion. Antonov has since pledged to repair or replace it at an estimated cost of $500 million.

Antonov confirmed on Twitter that it had signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft. In a Facebook post, it said it hoped the DLC would be released on February 27, 2023 – the anniversary of the Russian invasion. Microsoft has been contacted for more information.

This would not be the first historic aircraft to be built in Microsoft Flight SimulatorModern incarnation of Its Local Legends series debuted in 2021, and hopes to digitally preserve rare aircraft for generations of aviation enthusiasts to enjoy.

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