for the Intercept
The Makers of the Ukrainian “Dream”
The story of Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing company Antonov goes back over 70 years back and counts over 100 models and modifications of freight, passenger and specialized aircrafts.
The star of the fleet, the Antonov-225 Mriya freight aircraft (from Ukrainian - Dream) is 84 meters long and 12 meters high with a maximum carrying capacity is 250 tons. Three years ago Mriya carried a single turbine weighing 155 tons from Brazil to Chile, the same weight as twenty-five adult African bush elephants.
Another success of Antonov is the An-124 Ruslan aircraft. There are fifty-five of them today, the largest fleet of serial cargo planes in the World.
With the onset of Russian aggression against Ukraine, Antonov severed ties with Russia, where the company had previously purchased parts for production. In 2016, the company presented a new aircraft An-132D, made exclusively by Ukrainian and Western manufacturers.
Today the company plans to resume production of regional jet aircraft of the An-148 and An-158 families, and is also working on the creation of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Part majority of the Antonov plant is located in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, a few minutes walk from Nyvky Metro Station. Another - in Gostomel near Kyiv. These Hundreds of acres of property are headquarters for more than nine and a half thousand professionals who design, manufacture, repair, upgrade, test, plan and organize commercial flights.
Department head of the fuselage design bureauI started here right after college, it’s been 47 years since I’m at Antonov. I’m seventy now and this is my life. I am gonna stay here as long as I’m useful.
My job is to be in charge of all technical aspects of production planning, to check and approve of basically everything that goes into manufacturing. It’s a big responsibility, but it’s not too bad if you have a team you can trust.
It’s not too hard to work for a half of a century at one spot if you think it’s interesting, you love the job and you see the results. Every day you see the plane that you worked on from a blank sheet of paper take off into the air, is a celebration for me.