Giant Antonov plane returns to Doncaster after sister plane destroyed in Ukraine

The Antonov An 12B landed at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, much to the delight of planespotters.

The 56-year-old aircraft, registered in Ukraine and now operated by Motor Sich Airlines, arrived from the Czech Republic.

An aviation enthusiast said: “Nice to see you again, kid. And what a beautiful noise you made while passing in front of it!

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The Antonov AN 12B is back in Doncaster. (Photo: Roland Nussbaumer).

The Antonov An-225, the only one of its kind in the world, had been a regular sight in the skies over Doncaster in recent years.

The huge plane was based at Hostomel airport about an hour’s drive from Kyiv and came under attack from Russian helicopters and paratroopers.

The Russians abandoned the area and in a report earlier this year, BBC war correspondent Jeremy Bowen showed viewers the devastation in the area, including the wreckage of the cargo plane, which was totally destroyed.

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

“It was the largest cargo plane in the world.

“A huge national pride was contained in that – it was a symbol of modernity, of Ukraine’s place in the world, striking across the globe – and now it’s a symbol of what happened to the country. “

The aircraft, designed by the Soviet Union’s Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s, was the longest and heaviest aircraft ever built with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tons. It also had the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service.

Only one AN-225 Mryia has ever been built by the Antonov company, and the giant of the skies had made several visits to Doncaster Sheffield, formerly Robin Hood in recent years, attracting dozens of aviation enthusiasts.

In February, it was reported that the hangar housing the AN-225 had been damaged in the fighting.

There were other huge Antonov planes also located there and the plane had been invaluable in transporting large amounts of humanitarian aid around the world at short notice during emergencies.