There are fears the world's largest transport plane has been destroyed during fighting in Ukraine. 

The Antonov AN-225 Mriya - the only one of its type in the world - was based at Hostomel airport around an hour's drive from Kiev. 

The airport was attacked by Russian helicopters and paratroopers early this morning, with a fierce battle currently raging after local forces counter-attacked later in the day.   

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It has been reported that the hanger housing the AN-225 has been damaged in the fighting, although this is unconfirmed. 

The airport was struck by missiles prior to the attack and has reportedly been shelled by Ukrainian forces. 

HeraldScotland:

HeraldScotland:

The six-engine Anotov An-225 weighs 314 tonnes and has a wingspan of 88 meters.

The aircraft was used to transfer the Soviet Buran spacecraft and has been invaluable in tranporting large amounts of humanitarian aid around the world at short notice during emergencies.

On 11 June 2010, the An-225 carried the world's longest piece of air cargo, two 42.1 m (138 ft) test wind turbine blades from Tianjin, China, to Skrydstrup, Denmark.