Antonov An-12

Antonov An-12

Infobox Aircraft
name= An-12

caption= An-12 of Kosmos PO Aicompany, Russia
type= Military transport aircraft
manufacturer= Antonov
first flight= March 1957
introduced= 1959
status= Active service with various airlines and Air Forces
primary user= Soviet Air Force
more users= Aeroflot PLA Air Force
produced= 1957-1973
number built= 1,248
unit cost=
developed from= Antonov An-10
variants with their own articles= Shaanxi Y-8

The Antonov An-12 (NATO reporting name: Cub) is a four-engined turboprop transport aircraft. It is the military version of the Antonov An-10.

Design and development

The first prototype flew in March 1957. Over 900 had been built, in both military and civilian versions, before production finally ended in 1973. The An-12BP entered Soviet military service in 1959. In terms of configuration, size and capability, the aircraft is similar to the United States-built Lockheed C-130 Hercules. Military Soviet planes have a defensive tail gun turret.

Chinese production

In the 1960s, China purchased several An-12 aircraft from the Soviet Union, along with license to assemble the aircraft locally. However, due to the Sino-Soviet split, the Soviet Union withdrew its technical assistance. It wasn't until 1974, when the first Chinese-assembled An-12 had its maiden flight. The Xi'an Aircraft Company and Xi'an Aircraft Design Institute worked to reverse engineer the An-12 for local production. []

By 1981, the Chinese copy version of An-12, named Yun-8 (Y-8) entered serial production. Since then, the Y-8 has become one of China's most popular military and civilian transport/cargo aircraft, with many variants produced and exported. Although the An-12 is no longer made in Russia or Ukraine, the Chinese Y-8 continues to be upgraded and produced. The latest Y-8-F600 is a joint venture between Shaanxi Aircraft Company, Antonov Aeronautical Scientific-Technical Complex (ASTC), and Pratt & Whitney Canada. The Y-8-F600 has redesigned fuselage, western avionics, PW150B turboprop engine with an R-408 propeller system, and 2-man glass cockpit. []


* An-12B : Civilian transport version.
* An-12BP : Military transport version.
* An-12 Cub-A : Electronic intelligence version.
* An-12 Cub-B : Electronic intelligence version.
* An-12 Cub-C : Electronic countermeasures version.


Currently the An-12 is very popular with cargo operators, especially those in the CIS, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

Civil operators

In August 2006 a total of 179 Antonov An-12 aircraft remain in airline service. Major operators include: Air Guinee (4), Alada (5), British Gulf International Airlines (7), Avial Aviation (4), Heli Air Service (4), Scorpion Air (4), Tiramavia (4), Aerovis Airlines (5), Veteran Airlines (4), KNAAPO (5), Vega Airlines (6) ATRAN Cargo Airlines (4) and Volare Airlines (6). Some 77 other airlines operate smaller numbers of the type. [Flight International, 3-9 October 2006]

*Balkan Bulgarian Airlines
*Scorpion Air;PRC
*Civil Aviation Administration of China; see also Shaanxi Y-8;EGY
*Air Guinee;GHA:
*Ghana Airways The sole An-12 was delivered in October 1961, registered as 9G-AZZ. Withdrawn from use in 1962 and returned to Soviet Union in 1963. ["Vintage Russian. Props and Jets of the Iron Curtain Airlines", Airlife Publishing, Shrewsbury 1998, ISBN 1-85310-971-1.] ;IRQ
*Iraqi Airways;ITA
*Volare Airlines;RUS
*Avial Aviation
*ATRAN Cargo Airlines
*SAT Airlines;USSR
* SriLankan Cargo;UAE
*British Gulf International Airlines;UKR
*Aerovis Airlines
*Antonov Airlines

Military operators

* The Afghan Air Force operated 12 from 1981 through 2001.;DZA;ANG;BGD
*Bangladesh Air Force operated from 1973 to 1980s, now all retired;BLR;CHN
*People's Liberation Army Air Force;CZE
*Czech Air Force;CZS
*Czechoslovakian Air Force : Czechoslovakia's fleet numbering two was passed to the Czech Republic upon split with Slovakia. All CzAF An-12s were phased-out of active service in the 1990s.;EGY
*Egyptian Air Force;ETH;IND
* The Indian Air Force inducted the first of these aircraft in 1961, when it raised No.44 Squadron "The Himalayan Geese". Six of these aircraft soon took part in airlifting army reinforcements during the 62 War to Ladakh. Subsequently the An-12 was used to raise No.25 Squadron. The An-12s were also used as Heavy bombers during the 71 War. All IAF An-12s were phased-out of active service in the 1990s. One of them is preserved at the IAF museum in Palam, New Delhi.;IDN
*Indonesian Air Force;IRQ
*Iraqi Air Force;IRN;KAZ;MYA;POL
*Polish Air Force used 2 An-12B from 1966 until 1977 (crashed) and 1995 [Gołąbek, Adam: "13. Pułk Lotnictwa Transportowego" in: "Lotnictwo z szachownicą" nr. 9 and nr. 10] ;RUS;USSR
* The Soviet fleet was dispersed among many of the Soviet Union's successor states.
*Soviet Air Force
*Soviet Naval Aviation;SRI;SUD;SYR;UKR;UZB;YEM;YUG
*SFR Yugoslav Air Force

pecifications (An-12BP)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
ref=Global Aircraftcite web | title=An-12 Cub | work=Global Aircraft | url= | accessdate=2006-03-09 ] , Airliners.netcite web | title=The Antonov An-12 & Shaanxi Y-8 | | url= | accessdate=2006-03-09 ]
crew=5: 2 pilots, flight engineer, navigator, radio operator
capacity=90 troops
payload main=20,000 kg
payload alt=44,000 lb
length main=33.10 m
length alt=108 ft 7 in
span main=38.00 m
span alt=124 ft 8 in
height main=10.53 m
height alt=34 ft 7 in
area main=121.7 m²
area alt=1,310 ft²
empty weight main=28,000 kg
empty weight alt=62,000 lb
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=61,000 kg
max takeoff weight alt=130,000 lb
engine (prop)=Progress AI-20L or AI-20M
type of prop=turboprops
number of props=4
power main=4,000 ehp
power alt=3,000 kW
max speed main=777 km/h
max speed alt=419 knots, 482 mph
cruise speed main=670 km/h
cruise speed alt=361 knots, 415 mph
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
range main=
** With maximum fuel: 5,700 km
range alt=3,075 nm, 3,540 mi)
** With maximum load: 3,600 km (1,945 nm, 2,235 mi
ceiling main=10,200 m
ceiling alt=33,500 ft
climb rate main= m/s
climb rate alt= ft/min
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
guns=2× 23 mm (0.906 in) cannon Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23 in a tail turret (some aircraft)

In popular culture

In the 2005 movie "Lord of War", the main character Yuri Orlov, played by Nicolas Cage, commonly uses an Antonov An-12 to transport weapons, and is later said to have "a fleet" of such planes. Andrew Niccol, the director of Lord of War, stated that they actually used one of Viktor Bout's An-12 aircraft in the movie. [cite web
url =
title = Deal With the Devil
accessdate = 2007-12-08
date= 2005-09-23
work = Newsweek

ee also

* Antonov An-10
* Antonov An-22
* Shaanxi Y-8
similar aircraft=
* Airbus A400M
* C-130 Hercules
* Transall C.160
* List of military aircraft of the Soviet Union and the CIS
* List of military transport aircraft
see also=


External links

* [ Pictures of An-12]
* [ An-12 specifications compared next to other air cargo aircraft]
* [ Hundreds of An-12 photos]

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