Antonov An-72 | Tactical transport aircraft

Antonov An-72 | Tactical transport aircraft
Antonov An-72

Militarymedia.net - The Antonov An-72 is a tactical military transport aircraft. Its Western reporting name is Coaler. It was developed by the Antonov Design Bureau. Construction began in the early 1970s. The aircraft made its first flight in 1977. It was officially adopted even before flight tests were completed. Full-level production began in 1980. It was originally intended to replace the Antonov An-26, however only a small number of these aircraft (about 120 units) were built. Its production is still continuing in Ukraine. Currently the main military operators of the An-72 are the Russian Air Force (39) and the Ukrainian Air Force (26). Variants of the An-72 are used as commercial cargo by a number of carriers around the world.

The An-72 has a very unusual layout. The engine is located on the wing and blows over the cover. Such a design increases lift. As a result, the aircraft has 20% more lift and improves short takeoff and landing performance. This layout, and several other design features were copied from the Boeing YC-14 transport aircraft, which was a successful design, but did not enter production. While the concept is not new, it appears the Soviets got the blueprint for the YC-14. A similar layout has been used only on a few other planes. But the Antonov An-72 is much smaller than the Boeing YC-14.

The aircraft has a carrying capacity of 10,000 kg and can carry cargo. There are folding seats for up to 52 passengers. Also can transport various vehicles. The An-72 has a hinged loading ramp at the rear.

This military transport aircraft is powered by two Ivchenko Progress D-36 (also known as Lotarev D-36) turbofan engines. This machine is still produced in Ukraine.

The An-72 is a short takeoff and landing aircraft. It can operate from low level airstrips, semi-prepared fields and even unprepared surfaces. The take-off roll is 620 m and the landing trajectory is 420 m.

Antonov An-72 Variant

The An-72 (Western reporting name Coaler-A) is a pre-production aircraft. A total of eight were built, plus two flying prototypes and one static test airframe.

The An-72A (Western reporting name Coaler-C) was an early production aircraft.

The An-72AT is the freighter version. It is compatible with standard international shipping containers.

An-72P maritime patrol aircraft. Its main role is to charge marine patrols. It is armed with a 23-mm dual-barreled cannon and has under-wing hardpoints for pods with nonoperated rockets or 100 kg bombs. It can carry 22 paratroopers, or alternatively cargo with a maximum weight of 5 t. The first An-72P aircraft were built between 1983 and 1986.

An-72PS SAR aircraft.

An-72S VIP Transport. Its production started in 1987.

The An-72G is a civilian cargo aircraft. It was approved for production in 1993.

An-71 (Western reporting name Madcap). It was an airborne early warning plane. It is based on the An-72. It made its first flight in 1975. Only 3 prototypes were built before the program was cancelled.

The An-74 is a version of the An-72, which can operate in the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions. Initially this aircraft had the designation An-74A Arktika. Modifications have been made for operation in harsh weather conditions. It can operate from low grade airstrips, such as concrete, gravel, ice and snow. It had better de-icing equipment, carried more fuel and could be equipped with wheeled ski landing gear, and several other pieces of equipment, allowing the aircraft to operate in extreme Arctic conditions. Its maximum payload capacity is 7,500 kg. The first two aircraft were completed in 1983. Since its introduction many versions of this aircraft have appeared. The An-74 was produced alongside the An-72. Its production is still continuing in Ukraine. In 2016 a total of 76 were built, including variants. It is used by both military and civilian operators.

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