Ukrainian Airman at Shannon

Shannon Airport welcomed a special guest to its aviation gallery to see an iconic new exhibit.  

Captain Dmytro Antonov, Chief Pilot for Antonov Airlines, who shares the same name as the famous Ukrainian aircraft company, spent time visiting the world’s largest collection of diecast model planes after recently flying into Shannon on the Antonov AN 124.

His reason was to view a rare scale model of the largest plane ever built – the Antonov AN-225, an aircraft that Dmytro himself captained for many years.  The 1– 200 scale model, which is one of only a few models of its kind in the world, is made from carbon fibre and measures approximately 14 by 14 inches. To put into perspective, it would take 125,172 model AN-225’s on 57 stacking levels to fill the cargo hold alone of this gigantic aircraft.  

Both Dmytro and the AN-225 have a long-standing history of flying into Shannon over the past two decades, due to the airport’s capability of accommodating the mammoth cargo plane on its runway – the longest runway in Ireland. 

The 620-tonne aircraft played a key role during the global pandemic as it was used to transport vital PPE equipment all over the world. On the 10th of?June 2020, it arrived at Shannon, carrying the largest consignment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be flown into Ireland on a single flight. 

In October 2021, the AN-225 known as the "Mriya", the Ukrainian word for dream, touched down at Shannon Airport for the last time before it was destroyed at Hostomel Airfield, outside of Kyiv, during the conflict in February of this year.