Saturday, December 22, 2007

Antonov An-22

When it first flew in 1965, the turboprop An-22 was the largest aeroplane in the world.

The An-22 was designed for rough field operation. It has set 14 aviation records. The An-22 is still a popular aircraft, as it offers rare payload carrying abilities.

Some notable features of the An-22 include comprehensive navigation and precision drop avionics complete with three separate radars, windows under the nose for the navigator, a 14-wheel undercarriage (tire pressures on early versions could be adjusted from the flight-deck to optimize the aircraft for different airfield surfaces), a reinforced titanium floor, four overhead gantries and two floor winches for freight handling. The main cargo bay is 33 meters (108 feet) long, and is accessed through a rear loading ramp. The ramp can be opened in flight for airdrop of cargoes. The main cargo hold is not pressurized. Troops/passengers are carried in a forward cabin which accommodates 29. Personnel access is through a door in each landing gear fairing.

- Crew: 5-6
- Capacity: 29 passengers
- Payload: 80,000 kg (180,000 lb)
- Length: 57.9 m (190 ft 0 in)
- Wingspan: 64.4 m (211 ft 3 in)
- Height: 12.53 m (41 ft 1 in)
- Wing area: 345 m² (3,713 ft²)
- Empty weight: 114,000 kg (251,330 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 250,000 kg (551,000 lb)
- max speed at altitude 740 KPH 460 MPH / 400 KT
- Powerplant: 4× Kuznetsov NK-12MA turboprops driving contra-rotating propellers, 11,030 kW (15,000 shp) each [The same engine powered the Tupolev Tu-95/Tu-142 Bear family of bombers and maritime patrol aircraft and are they are the most powerful turboprop engines in service]

- Maximum speed: 740 km/h (400 knots, 460 mph)
- Range: 5,000 km (2,700 nm, 3,100 mi)
- Service ceiling: 8,000 m (26,240 ft)

Sources put the total number built at between 75 and 100, with the last one built in 1974 or 1975.

The An-22 was later replaced by the larger turbojet An-124. And today the An-225 is the largest aeroplane in the world.

All information and photos from Wikipedia, TheAviationZone, FAQS, Decker

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