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An-12 of Gomelavia in 2009
Role Tactical airlifter
Manufacturer Antonov
First flight 16 December[1] 1957
Introduction 1959
Status Active service with various airlines (especially cargo) and air forces
Primary users Belarus Air Force
PLA Air Force
Produced 1957–1973
Number built 1,248
Developed from Antonov An-10
Variants Shaanxi Y-8

The Antonov An-12 (Russian: Антонов Ан-12; NATO reporting name: Cub) is a four-engined turboprop transport aircraft designed in the Soviet Union. It is the military version of the Antonov An-10 and has many variants.

Design and development[edit | edit source]

An An-12A of Vega Air makes a traditional smokey takeoff from Kastrup Airport (2004).

47-year-old An-12 still operational. Malmö Airport

The first prototype An-12 flew in December 1957. Over 900 had been built (both military and civilian versions) when Soviet 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. Soviet military and former-Soviet An-12s have a defensive tail gun turret.

Chinese production[edit | edit source]

In the 1960s, China purchased several An-12 aircraft from the Soviet Union, along with a license to assemble the aircraft locally. Due to the Sino-Soviet split, the Soviet Union withdrew its technical assistance and the first flight of a Chinese-assembled An-12 was delayed until 1974. The Xi'an Aircraft Company and Xi'an Aircraft Design Institute worked to reverse-engineer the An-12 for local production.[2]

In 1981, the Chinese version of the An-12, designated Y-8, entered 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. A Tu-16/H-6 bomber navigator cockpit design was chosen for the Y-8 instead of the original An-12 shorter navigator cockpit design, as the H-6 bomber had been in serial production for some time.[3] Although the An-12 is no longer in production either in Russia or in Ukraine, the Y-8 is upgraded and produced in China. The latest Y8-F600 is a joint venture between the Shaanxi Aircraft Company, Antonov Aeronautical Scientific Technical Complex (ASTC), and Pratt & Whitney Canada. The Y8-F600 has a redesigned fuselage, western avionics, PW150B turboprop engines with an R-408 propeller system, and a two-crew glass cockpit.[4] It is unknown whether the Shaanxi Y-8 remains in production.

Variants[edit | edit source]

Operators[edit | edit source]

An-12 operators (military operators in red, civil operators in green, and operators for both military and civil purposes in blue)

Currently the An-12 is very popular with cargo operators, especially those in the CIS, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.[5]

Civil operators[edit | edit source]

On 12 January 2009, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued a temporary ban of the An-12 from flying over their airspace following runway incursions at Sharjah International Airport and the GCAA has advised operators to stop using the aircraft.[6][7] The ban was made permanent in Feb 2010.[8]

Current[edit | edit source]

United States

Former[edit | edit source]

 People's Republic of China
  • Egyptair
  • Ghana Airways The sole An-12 was delivered in October 1961. Withdrawn from use in 1962 and returned to the Soviet Union in 1963.[12]

  • LOT Polish Airlines[14]
 Sri Lanka

Military operators[edit | edit source]

Current[edit | edit source]

 Kyrgyzstan[citation needed]

Former[edit | edit source]

  • The Afghan Air Force operated 12 from 1981 through 2001. One of their An-12s which defected to Pakistan is preserved at PAF Museum, Karachi
 Ivory Coast
 Czech Republic
  • Czechoslovakian Air Force : Czechoslovakia's fleet numbering two was divided evenly between the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic upon split with Slovakia. All CzAF An-12s were phased-out of active service in the 1990s.
  • 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 to Ladakh during the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The An-12 was subsequently used to raise No.25 Squadron. The An-12s were also used as heavy bombers during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. All IAF An-12s were phased out of active service in the 1990s. One of them is preserved at the Indian Air Force Museum, Palam, New Delhi.

  • Slovak Air Force received one An-12BP registered 2209 in 1993. It was sold to Moldavia in 1999 and now serves with Angolan Air Force.[24]
 South Yemen
 Soviet Union

Accidents and incidents[edit | edit source]

Specifications (An-12)[edit | edit source]

Data from Global Aircraft,[25] Airliners.net[26]

General characteristics

  • Crew: five: two pilots, flight engineer, navigator, radio operator
  • Payload: 20,000 kg (44,000 lb)
  • Length: 33.10 m (108 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 38.00 m (124 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 10.53 m (34 ft 7 in)
  • Wing area: 121.7 m² (1,310 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 28,000 kg (62,000 lb)
  • Useful load: 60 paratroopers (two BMD-1 armoured vehicles)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 61,000 kg (130,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Ivchenko AI-20L or AI-20M turboprops, 4,000 ehp (3,000 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 777 km/h (419 knots, 482 mph)
  • Cruise speed: 670 km/h (361 knots, 415 mph)
  • Range:
    • With maximum fuel: 5,700 km (3,075 nm, 3,540 mi)
    • With maximum load: 3,600 km (1,945 nm, 2,235 mi))
  • Service ceiling: 10,200 m (33,500 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 10m/s (1960ft/min)


Notable appearances in media[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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  5. Gordon, Yefim & Komissarov, Dmitry. Antonov An-12. Midland. Hinkley. 2007. ISBN 978-1-85780-255-9[page needed]
  6. Script error: No such module "citation/CS1".
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  8. "UAE bans ANTONOV An-12 aircraft from its airspace". The Times Of India. 19 February 2010. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/UAE-bans-ANTONOV-An-12-aircraft-from-its-airspace-/articleshow/5590592.cms. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
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  10. Endres 1979, p. 189.
  11. Endres 1979, p. 15.
  12. Vintage Russian. Props and Jets of the Iron Curtain Airlines, Airlife Publishing, Shrewsbury 1998, ISBN 1-85310-971-1.
  13. Endres 1979, p. 401–402.
  14. Endres 1979, p. 351.
  15. Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 32.
  16. Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 37.
  17. Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 41.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 46.
  19. Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 48.
  20. Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 53.
  21. Script error: No such module "citation/CS1".
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  23. Gołąbek, Adam: 13. Pułk Lotnictwa Transportowego in: Lotnictwo z szachownicą nr. 9 and nr. 10
  24. Script error: No such module "citation/CS1".[verification needed]
  25. Script error: No such module "citation/CS1".
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  • Endres, Günter G. (1979). World Airline Fleets 1979. Hounslow, UK: Airline Publications and Sales Ltd.. ISBN 0-905117-53-0. .
  • Hoyle, Craig (8–14 December 2015). "World Air Forces Directory". pp. 26–53. ISSN 0015-3710. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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