The first radical modification of passenger aircraft An-24 began its military transport version of the an-26. Today this machine is so popular that without it can not do either military or civil operators, and replace her in the next five years is not expected.
The aircraft was designed for air landing and airdrop of men and equipment, including self-propelled artillery ASU-57 self-propelled gun SD-85, GAZ-69, 120-mm mortar and other goods. Not excluded its use as a bomber.
Established in 1969 the car was different from its predecessor, a cargo An-24РТ primarily large cargo door width 2.1 m and height 1.5 m.
New tail section, increased aerodynamic drag of the aircraft. To compensate for this managed by placing in the center cargo hatch of ridges that facilitated a smoother flow around the rear fuselage.
Both cabins — crew (five people) and cargo (length 12,48 m, maximum width — 2,78 m height — 1.84 m), sealed and allow you to transport people at altitudes up to 6000 m without oxygen equipment.
The aircraft have strengthened the wing and installed new wheels CT-157 with high profile tires. And An-24РТ, in addition to TMD AI-24 used the third, however, a turbojet engine RU19A-300.
An-26 was equipped with modern (for the time) flight navigation and communication equipment. For landing and bombing as lighting and high-explosive bombs were intended night reflex sight COMAR-7 and radar system for short-range navigation RSBN “Arch”, working as in the overview of the front hemisphere and the earth’s surface.
To conduct flight tests built two prototypes and one machine for static tests. The first prototype flew for the first time the crew of a test pilot Y. A. Ketov. It happened on may 21, 1969
The machine embodied in the metal, immediately attracted the attention of the military, because it’s time to replace, although well-established, but outdated Il-14T. State tests of the An-26 (the leading pilots from the air force Institute And .I. Markov, from OKB —V. A. Bogdanov ) started in 1969 and lasted one year.
During this time two cars made nearly 260 flights a total duration of more than 430 hours. After completion of the tests in the branch of the air force Institute left one of the first instances of An-26, which was carrying official passengers and cargo. So we can assume that the operation of this machine, the air force began in the fall of 1969.
In 1972 the An-26 was allowed to operate from unpaved airfields with a soil strength of not less than 6 kg/cm2 and with a snow-covered grounds when the thickness newcatalog snow up to 200 mm.
Checked An-26 in the version of the bomber laying on the fuselage, four beam holder BDZ-34 on the pylons and sights nkpb-7 is also used for air dropping. On the external load of the An-26 is allowed only 500-kg bombs, but also a variety of goods. Naturally, this reduces the speed of the machine, but on the characteristics of stability and controllability is not affected.
In 1969 An-26 was launched into production at an aircraft factory in Kiev and in 1985 he built 1402 (according to other sources — 1398) of the machine.
The customer wanted to increase the capacity of the machine led to the creation of engine AI-24T/W takeoff power 2820 BHP These engines to this day are installed on the An-26.
The first production version of the An-26 was designed for military and only for landing landing. Then for the air force has created a training chart aircraft An-26Ш, is designed to train ten students with a full set of navigation equipment, repeater An-26РТ and electronic warfare aircraft An-26РЭП. In addition, produced An-26S “Salon” staff option for 12 passengers.
For civil operators has developed An-26B. His trial began in 1974, and two years later Aeroflot began to freight transport. On the basis of the An-26B generated variants of “Cyclone” and “Weather” to induce artificial precipitation.
Medical An-26M SPASATEL ‘ — flying hospital designed for emergency medical assistance to victims of natural disasters and armed conflicts.
The first modification of the aircraft, created after the collapse of the Soviet Union, became An-26D — two overhead fuel tanks on the fuselage with a volume of 1500 L. It is possible to increase the flight duration at the most advantageous height 3.4 h But to modify production vehicles in this option, apparently, because of the lack of funding did not.
Also established a forest fire version of the an-26P with two external tanks for extinguishing liquid and An-26, “Standard” is to test the operation of aerodrome radio AIDS, communications, and light-signal equipment of airdromes — aslk-N.
Last modification of the aircraft became air control An-26БУС developed at ANTK im. O. K. Antonov in early 2007
Currently, cargo aircraft are converted passenger (including for VIR-per-son) and utility versions of An-26B-100.
An-26 was adopted in may 1975 and their first copies arrived first in school Balashov pilots, then training chart An-26Ш — in Chelyabinsk and Stir-lowgrade school navigators. Twelve “trucks” received in 10-th separate brigade of the red banner special purpose.
In the military transport aviation (VTA) regiments or separate air squadrons An-26 was not. In the air force and naval aviation, as well as other law enforcement agencies, these machines solved only ancillary tasks.
Flight and technical composition, the plane was like. The car was pleasant in piloting, steady, often forgiving even gross errors of pilots. An-26 has good performance and takeoff and landing characteristics, ruggedness, high reliability and durability. Appreciation was expressed for the engines AI-24VT, the failure of which happened very rarely, but if one of them fail, the plane could continue flying, landing not present major problems even for a pilot of average skill. “Twenty-sixth” pretty much had to fly from unpaved airfields, demonstrating their ruggedness.
Military transport aircraft An-26
Despite these advantages of the machine, flying it is, unfortunately, not without casualties. The first crash of a military An-26, apparently, occurred on 16 may 1972 on the day the crew of the aircraft returning to the airfield after weather reconnaissance over the sea, I forgot to rearrange the barometric altimeter to the QFE and it showed an inflated height When crossing the coastline of the An-26 entered in thick fog and collided with the building of a kindergarten in the residential quarter of the Svetlogorsk…
May 3, 1985 because of an error Manager in Lviv region has faced in the clouds at an altitude of 3400 m staff An-26 of the Transcarpathian military district, on Board of which were almost all air force command of this district, with the Tu-134 Estonia management GA (UGA), EN route from Tallinn to Chisinau.
The last An-26 Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation lost on the evening of 21 February, 2002, the day the jet went down in poor visibility conditions and after a sudden onslaught of snow’s charge, hitting the chassis of the tops of the trees, fell to the ground, it reached the runway of the airfield about a mile.
Without An-26 until recently there was not a single armed conflict in Asia and Africa. Thus, transport planes, were part of the 50-th separate mixed aviation regiment, based in Kabul (Afghanistan), not only brought troops, ammunition and military equipment, but also took out the wounded to the rear. Flying hospital EN-26M saved during the war more than a dozen soldiers ‘ lives. In the same war “Ana” was first used as bombers, raised sometimes four 500-kg bombs.
In Afghanistan was not without losses. The first car Mujahedeen shot down on 22 January 1985, the second — December 26, 1986, the Last An-26 was lost, apparently, in October 1987
In the summer of 2000 An-26 in Chechnya, was repeatedly brought to the exploration of the paths of movement of fighters and fast. Used them and the “rebels” of Dudayev, delivering cargo and ammunition from Azerbaijan.
If 15 years ago, the air force had a surplus of this type of aircraft, today there is an acute shortage. This circumstance has forced to begin to develop a new light transport aircraft Il-112V, but if he appears, then soon.
In early October 2009 at the airport Ermolino (Kaluga oblast), where is deployed a separate mixed air regiment of the interior Ministry, held a ceremony of conferring An-26 name Nicholas Hardalova. It seems that this aircraft was the first name, at least in the power structures of the Russian Federation.
The first squadron of An-26 Aeroflot was established in 1975 in the Archangel of the Civil aviation authority for maintenance of the expeditions of the Institute of the Arctic and Antarctic.
In the conditions of intensive operation of the An-26 showed high reliability. Suffice it to say that the total flight time of one’s refusal, until recently, almost twice exceeded the similar parameter of the An-12. However, the human factor often leads to the death of a serviceable machine. So, 6 February 1989, the commander of the An-26 Belarusian CAA shortly after taking off at night from airport Saransk took some red lights for approaching aircraft and began to shy away from the unknown obstacles. As a result, lost speed and fell. However, all has done without victims.
In addition to the war in Afghanistan was widely used and the An-26 airlines. Thus it happened that they came under fire of the Mujahideen. So, on 4 September 1985 the airline “Bakhtar al-vatana” lost An-26, carrying out flight on a route Kabul — Kandahar — Farah. Shortly after taking off from Kabul, at an altitude of 4,300 m, the aircraft was struck by a missile portable Zenith missile complex, caught fire and crashed near the airport. All 52 people aboard were killed.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the CIS An-26 was concentrated mostly in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. A few cars remained in Moldova. If the Soviet Union most of the An-26 was listed in the power structures, then, after 1992, this ratio has changed towards civil operators. This to a large extent contributed to the transfer of purely military “ANOVA” in the resulting airline. According to Antonov ASTC. Antonov, at that time, their population was 358 An-26.
In 1993, a total flight of An-26 plane on the average amounted to 549 hours, after which he began slowly and surely to fall to the level of 95 hours in 1998, at that time in civil aviation of the Russian Federation was listed as 230 An-26.
A feature of the post-Soviet period was the change in the nomenclature of goods. Increasingly, cargo planes were transporting paying passengers as Marines on the side of the folding seats without worrying about their safety. So, in June and December 1993 and he crashed two cars in Tbilisi and Yerevan, which claimed the lives of 40 and 33 respectively.
From April 2001, the airlines fly on European lines, was faced with the challenge of equipping the An-26, by collision avoidance systems in the air, and after a year entered into force additional restrictions on the noise on the ground in accordance with Chapter 3 of Annex 16 of ICAO Standards. Had the owners of “ANOVA” to fork out.
On 1 January 2002, the Russian airline was listed as 181 aircraft an-26, in 2003-m — 165, a year later 145. The life of machines has been steadily declining, which sometimes leads to various failures and breakdowns. So, February 19, 2004, at Yakutsk airport while taxiing prior to the start of the An-26 belonging to the Mirny aviation enterprise, broke the propeller. 4 April 2004 on the plane of airline “ALROSA” there was another such incident. In flight, broke the propeller of the left engine, from a blow which he received damage to the fuselage. The plane landed safely at the airport Kyzyl (Republic of Tuva). The investigation revealed that the cause of flight accident was the fatigue fracture of the screw shaft caused by retigabine and corrosion damage to its splines.
16 Jun 2009 there has been quite a rare case. In the An-26 of airline “Yakutia” with 40 passengers, flying from saskylakh — Yakutsk, was struck by lightning. According to eyewitnesses, a pretty strong shot went into the left side, after which the aircraft began to “walk” through the course of it, nothing happened, and no one was hurt.
An-26 is widely used abroad, but first they mastered in Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, GDR, Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. In 1975, the foreign trade Association “Aviaexport” organized a promotional tour of the An-26 countries of Africa. Its result was the delivery of 30 vehicles to Libya. They have played an important role in securing the Libyan expeditionary forces and local rebels during the war in Chad ended in 1986
Abroad An-26 are not used for peaceful purposes. After the USSR collapse a lot of cars gradually moved into foreign countries. In 2002, 33 countries were 286 aircraft. There they operated, “as” and often, in the pursuit of profit, with Overdrive. Hence the high accident rate. Especially “famous” Angola, where war has become the norm. In Angola lost about 20 “ANOVA”.
Today the former Soviet bloc countries gradually get rid of the An-26. For example, Bulgaria started to replace them on the C-27J “Spartan”. At the same time, China analogue An-26 being built to this day under the designation Y-7-300. The Czech Republic has announced a tender for the supply of new military cargo planes, which will replace the existing fleet of An-26.
However, reliable, with excellent takeoff and landing characteristics of the An-26 uses a deserved authority among the airmen all over the world, it can be found even on the American continent.
The designated resource of the aircraft has reached 38 000 hours or 20 000 landings. This will allow you to operate the machine, at least until 2015, At present the An-26 by the orders of the airlines converted to passenger versions.
During the operation of the An-26 carried a huge, intractable to statistics, the number of goods continues to remain in the ranks.
The high reliability of the machine is evidenced by the fact that in September 2009, the European Agency for aviation security has issued type Certificate to An-26 and An-26B. This confirms the conformity of machines with engines AI-24VT, propellers AV-72T and auxiliary power unit RU19A-300 requirements airworthiness RAR parts 25, 33, 35 and T50-С77.
For the first time the type Certificate for the An-26 was issued by the state aviation administration of Ukraine in 2001, the Certificate ЕА5А allowed to continue operating An-26 and An-26B registered in EU countries. In 2009, 17 of these machines worked in the airlines of Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and Poland. According to the operators, they firmly took place on the market light ramp cargo aircraft. In particular, are widely used for emergency transportation of cargo and mail contract.
Basic data of light aircraft Antonov design Bureau
Note. 1. Three motors working in nominal conditions. 2. In some cases, allowed to 6500 kg.