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

Once released, it could be available on both PC and Xbox

A blue and yellow strip, remiscent of the Ukrainian flag, run down the side of a massive white airplane. Image: iniBuilds
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

One of the earliest casualties of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine was the world’s largest airplane, the Antonov 225 Mriya. Now, a London-based software company called iniBuilds hopes to bring it back to life inside Microsoft Flight Simulator. The announcement, made Wednesday on Twitter, notes that the proceeds from the proposed $19.99 add-on will go to its manufacturer, Antonov, and Ukraine.

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

Destroyed Antonov An-225
The Antonov 225 at Hostomel Airport, outside Kyiv, Ukraine photographed in July 2022.
Photo: Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images

It was destroyed, along with its unfinished sibling, in the opening 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 that it hopes the DLC will be released on Feb. 27, 2023 — the anniversary of the Russian invasion. Polygon has reached out to Microsoft for more information.

This would not be the first historic aircraft recreated inside Microsoft Flight Simulator’s modern incarnation. Its Local Legends series kicked off in 2021, and hopes to preserve rare planes digitally for generations of aviation enthusiasts to enjoy.

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