Antonov An-72 / An-74
Antonov An-72 / An-74
The Antonov An-72 (NATO-name: 'Coaler') is a twin-engine jet airliner designed for short take-off and landing (STOL) operations. It was intended as a replacement for the Antonov An-26. It is primarily a military transport, but it is in use with civil operators as well.
The An-72 first flew on 31 August 1977, but production started not earlier than in 1985 with eight pre-production aircraft.
The aircraft is fitted with two Lotarev D-36 turbofan engines, which are placed in a high position ahead of the wing so that exhaust gases are blown over the upper surface of the wing to increase lift. This is named the 'Coanda effect' and it enables the airplane to operate from very short runways. Boeing used the same effect on its YC-14 military transport, which didn't reach production, however. The An-72 can also operate from unprepared surfaces like grass or sand. The aircraft has a hinged rear loading ramp. It can carry loads up to 7.5 tons or 52 passengers.
Antonov developed several variants. The prototype and pre-production variant was the An-72 ('Coaler-A'). The An-72A ('Coaler-C') became the first standard production version. It has a somewhat stretched fuselage and increased wing span. A cargo version is the An-72AT, which can carry standard shipping containers. The An-72S is a VIP version and the An-72P an armed patrol aircraft.
The An-74 is a specialised version of the An-72 designed for Arctic and Antarctic operations. It was originally designated 'An-72A Arctic'. The aircraft can operate in weather conditions ranging from -60 °C to +45 °C and take-off and land on concrete, pebble, ice and snow. For use in circumstances with snow and ice, the An-74 can be fitted with a wheel-ski landing gear, de-icing equipment and other features. It also has increased fuel capacity, a larger radar and special navigation equipment. Apart for use in Arctic and Antarctic regions, the aircraft is also suitable for fishery patrol, as executive/VIP transport and other tasks.
Antonov produces the An-74 with a four-crew and a two-crew version (AN-74TK-100 and -200 respectively). The aircraft's interior can be changed from passenger to cargo layout or vice versa within less than two hours.
Antonov offered a large number of variants. The An-74TK-300 is a civil version with a modernised wing and the engines in underwing pylons. This version does not have the STOL capabilities of the standard An-74, but it offers better operating cost characteristics. It first flew on 20 April 2001 from Kharkov. Only one was built, which entered service with the Ukraina State aviation enterprise. A proposed stretched version is designated 'An-74TK-400'.
Around 200 An-72s and An-74s have been built.
Antonov An-72 Specifications
Wingspan: 73.30 m (240 ft 5 in). Length: 69.10 m (226 ft 7 in). Height: 20.78 m (68 ft 2 in).
Empty weight: 175,000 kg (385,800 lb). Max. takeoff weight: 405,000 kg (893,000 lb).
Payload: 120,000 kg (264,500 lb). Range: 4,500 km (2,430 nm). Cruise speed: 800 km/h (430 kts).
Engines: four Lotarev D-18 turbofans (230 kN - 51,600 lb).