The Antonov An-24 and its later variants are twin-engine turboprop regional airliners. The An-24 is the basic aircraft and seats 44 passengers.
The Antonov Design Bureau (Ukraine) started the development of the An-24 in 1957 as a replacement for the ageing short- to medium-haul Ilyushin Il-14, which was in widespread use at that time in the Soviet Union. The first flight took place on 20 October 1959. The An-24 received the NATO reporting name 'Coke'.
The An-24 is in the same class as the Fokker F27 Friendship, ATR 42, De Havilland Canada Dash 8 and Hawker Siddeley HS 748. It is a conventional design with a high wing but no T-tail and two engines mounted in nacelles under the wing. The high wing keeps the engines and propeller blades away from debris, which makes the An-24 suitable for operations from unprepared airstrips. The aircraft has a higher power-to-weight ratio than comparable types. It has a rugged airframe and it requires minimal ground equipment for handling so that it can easily serve poorly equipped airports.
Passengers sit four-abreast (2+2). The undercarriage retracts into fairings behind the engines. For the production of the fuselage and empennage, Antonov applied glue-welded joints instead of traditional riveting.
Apart from being used as a commuter airliner and cargo aircraft, Antonov An-24s perform many other tasks, like reconnaissance, engine/propeller tests, navaids calibration, search and rescue, airborne command and fire bombing. Antonov developed more than 40 versions. The An-24RT and An-24RV have a small turbojet in the right engine nacelle to improve take-off performance.
Well over 1,300 An-24s have been built. The primary production line was at Kiev Svyatoshino, where 985 aircraft were produced. 180 airplanes were assembled in Uland Ude (Russia) and 197 An-24T tactical transport/freighters in Irkutsk (also Russia). In 2015 hundreds of An-24s are still operated by civil and military users, mostly in the CIS and Africa.
The An-26 (NATO: 'Curl') is a cargo version of the An-24. Actually it is a light military tactical transport aircraft but it also used by airlines as a freighter. It has more powerful engines than the An-24 and a redesigned rear fuselage including a cargo ramp for easy loading of freight.
The An-26 first flew on 21 May 1969 from Svyatoshino and production continued until 1986. 1,398 aircraft have been built in 25 versions. Hundreds of them are still in service.
The An-30 (NATO: 'Clank') is a special version for aerial survey and cartography/photography duties. The prototype was a converted An-24B and designated 'An-24FK'. It first flew on 25 August 1967. The aircraft has a completely redesigned front section, including a glazen nose for the navigator and navigational equipment. To make room for the equipment, the cockpit had to be raised 41 cm, resulting in a small, 747-like hump. The An-30 has two photodoors in the cabin floor. It can also be used as a cargo plane. Antonov developed several versions. From 1973 until 1980 123 aircraft were built in Kiev. Only a few are still operational.
The An-32 (NATO-callsign: 'Cline') is a re-engined version of the An-26 cargo aircraft with much more powerful engines for operations at airports in hot (desert-like) and high (mountainous) areas. The aircraft is fitted with two ZMKB Progress AI-20DMAI-20 turboprops, which deliver almost twice as much power as the An-26's AI-24s. The engines are placed over the wing to increase ground clearance for the larger diameter propellers. The An-32 performed its maiden flight on 9 July 1976. Launch customer was the Indian Air Force.
Several versions of the An-32 exist, with higher weights and different avionics suites. The An-32B-300 was fitted with Rolls-Royce AE 2100 turboprop engines and the An-32LL was a flying testbed for propfan technology. The An-32MP is a maritime patrol version and the An-32P a fire fighter. More than 360 An-32s have been built and the type is still in production.
Xi'an Y-7 / MA60 / MA600 / MA700
The Antonov An-24 was being produced under licence by Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation in China. Construction of the first aircraft, an An-24T, started in 1966 and it performed its maiden flight on 25 December 1970. However, the first production aircraft didn't fly earlier than in February 1984. The Chinese variant is comparable with the An-24RV and is fitted with a booster jet engine. Most aircraft built in China went to the military forces, but some were built for civil use by the CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China).
The Chinese also redesigned the An-24 as Xi'an Y-7 and developed several own versions. The Y-7-100 has a revised passenger interior, a renewed flightdeck and winglets. The Y-7H is a transport aircraft including a cargo ramp.
A further development is the MA60 ('Modern Ark'), which has a stretched fuselage and is fitted with western engines and avionics to improve performance and make it more attractive for the world market. This version first flew on 25 February 2000 and was introduced into service in August 2000 with the Chinese airline Sichuan Airlines. So far, more than one hundred aircraft have been delivered, mainly to airlines in Asia and Africa. The MA600 (see photo) is a further improved version of the MA60. It first flew in September 2008. The aircraft has a redesigned passenger cabin, more powerful engines (PW127J) and new avionics. It seats 60 passengers.
The MA700 is a 70-seat aircraft still under development. It will be fitted with two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150C engines and six-bladed propellers. The landing gear will be retracted into fuselage fairings and the aircraft will have a T-tail, which will make it look like the ATR 72. Launch customers are the Chinese airlines Okay Airways and Joy Air. The aircraft is to make its maiden flight in 2019. Xi'An claims to have 185 orders for the aircraft.
A much modernised version of the An-26/An-32 is the An-132, which is to be produced in Saudi Arabia by Taqnia Aeronautics Company. Taqnia and Antonov signed an agreement to start this project in June 2015 and the aircraft first flew on 31 March 2017 (Photo: Antonov). It is fitted with Pratt & Whitney turboprops and six-bladed propellers. The renewed aircraft has a two-crew ‘glass’ cockpit and is equipped with US-made navigation devices. The cockpit windows have a modern look and the fuselage retains the rear loading ramp of the An-26 and An-32.
Antonov An-24 Specifications
Wingspan: 29.20 m (95 ft 10 in). Length: 23.53 m (77 ft 2 in). Height: 8.32 m (27 ft 4 in).
Empty weight: 13,300 kg (29,321 lb). Max. takeoff weight:
21,000 kg (46,300 lb).
Accommodation: 50 passengers. Range: 2,761 km (1,491 nm). Cruise speed: 450 km/h (243 kts).
Engines: two Ivchenko AI-24A turboprops (1,902 kW - 2,550 hp).
Antonov An-26 Specifications
Wingspan: 29.20 m (95 ft 10 in). Length: 23.80 m (78 ft 1 in). Height: 8.58 m (28 ft 2 in).
Empty weight: 15,020 kg (33,113 lb). Max. takeoff weight: 24,000 kg (52,911 lb).
Payload: 5,500 kg (12,125 lb). Range: 2,500 km (1,376 nm). Cruise speed: 440 km/h (237 kts).
Engines: two Progress AI-24VT turboprops (2,103 kW - 2,820 ehp).
Antonov An-30 Specifications
Wingspan: 29.20 m (95 ft 10 in). Length: 24.26 m (79 ft 7 in). Height: 8.32 m (27 ft 4 in).
Empty weight: 15,590 kg (34,370 lb). Max. takeoff weight: 23,000 kg (50,706 lb).
Range: 2,630 km (1,420 nm). Cruise speed: 430 km/h (232 kts).
Engines: two Progress AI-24T turboprops (2,103 kW - 2,803 ehp).
Antonov An-32 Specifications
Wingspan: 29.20 m (95 ft 10 in). Length: 23.78 m (78 ft 1 in). Height: 8.75 m (28 ft 9 in).
Empty weight: 16,800 kg (37,038 lb). Max. takeoff weight: 27,000 kg (59,400 lb).
Accommodation: 50 passengers. Range: 2,500 km (1,350 nm). Cruise speed: 470 km/h (254 kts).
Engines: two Progress AI-20DM turboprops (3,812 kW - 5,112 ehp).
Xi'An MA60 Specifications
Wingspan: 29.20 m (95 ft 10 in). Length: 24.71 m (81 ft 1 in). Height: 8.86 m (29 ft 1 in).
Empty weight: 13,700 kg (30,203 lb). Max. takeoff weight:
21,800 kg (48,060 lb).
Accommodation: 60 passengers. Range: 1,600 km (864 nm). Cruise speed: 430 km/h (232 kts).
Engines: two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127J turboprops (2,051 kW - 2,750 shp).