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Antonov An-12

The Antonov An-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 was made in many variants.


Initial production of the military transport model powered by 4,000ehp Ivchenko AI-20A engines.
An improved model with four additional fuel cells in the inner wing panels and 4,250ehp AI-20K engines.
One Tashkent-built An-12 (CCCP-11528 No.2) was delivered as the An-12AD, with no known reason for the suffix.
Conversion of the An-12A, fitted with the two extra underfloor tanks of the An-12P.
Further improved, with detachable outer wings forming integral fuel tanks housing 1,390 litres (305.8 Imp.Gal.) each, reinforced wing centre-section to support the extra fuel weight, a separate Flight Engineer station, more powerful cargo-handling winches and a TG-16 APU in the port undercarriage fairing, which necessitated removal of the rear bomb pylons from the undercarriage fairings. Power was supplied by Ivchenko AI-20M engines with improved reliability at the same rating as the AI-20K. Some An-12B aircraft were built at the factories as commercial transports with all military or sensitive equipment removed, the designation for these aircraft was unchanged.
An-12B (LIAT)
(Laboratoriya Issledovaniya Aviatsionnoy Tekniki – aviation hardware examination laboratory) : In 1972 a single An-12B was converted as a flying accident investigation laboratory with equipment for investigating crashes and analysing accident and voice recording systems.
A projected 30-tonne (66,140 lb) payload version of the An-12B, to be powered by 5,180ehp AI-20DK engines.
(Individooal'naya [zashchita] – individual protection) : Electronic countermeasures version with the Fasol (String Bean) active jamming system. Only seven aircraft were built/converted.
(Kompleks – avionics) : An increased 30-tonne (66,140 lb) payload, improved avionics suite, TG-16M APU and the widened cargo door of the An-12BP characterized the An-12BK, which was built exclusively for the VTA.
(Individooahl'naya zaschita s sistemoy Seeren – individual protection active jammer Siren) : 40 An-12BKs were built as ECM platforms with Fasol and Sirena mission systems housed in four pods suspended from pylons either side of the lower forward fuselage and either side of the gunner's position. Formation-keeping equipment was housed under a dielectric panel on the flight deck escape hatch. From 1974 another 105 aircraft were modified with the Bar'yer – (barrier) and Siren systems as well as automatic infra-red jammers.
(Postanovchik Pomekh Siren) : Evolved from the An-12PP this ultimate ECM platform variant was equipped with the Sirena system in four pods, Booket jammer system and chaff dispensers in the tailcone. Later-production aircraft had the chaff dispensers relocated to the cargo door. Nineteen aircraft were converted from An-12BKs, serving with the VVS until at least 2006. Three aircraft are known to have been stripped of mission equipment and returned to transport duties.
Kapsoola – capsule : A single aircraft converted into a VIP transport for the VTA in 1975. The name Kapsoola refers to the pressurised cabin Capsule.
(Shturmanskij) : Navigator Trainer version of the An-12BK with ten trainee workstations.
(BKToplivovoz – BK tanker) In 1972 the An-12 BKT was produced as a flying petrol station for refuelling aircraft in austere environments on the ground. Capable of refuelling two aircraft at a time with a transferrable load of 19,500 litres (4,290 Imp.Gal.).
Military variant that could be used to drop bombs or mines using a permanently installed conveyor belt for dropping the weapons from the cargo hold door. Accuracy was found to be appalling so further development was cancelled.
(Laboratornyj) Test-platform for the Kh-28 anti-radiation missile, with two missiles carried on pylons either side of the forward fuselage and two more suspended from pylons under the outer wings. This variant may have been intended for an operational role as a SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defences) platform.
(Molniya – Lightning) A single An-12B converted as a SATCOM relay aircraft for trials relaying communications to and from the Molniya-1 communications satellite.
An-12B fitted with the two extra underfloor tanks of the An-12P, equipped with a NAS-1B1-28 (Navigatsionnaya Avtonomnaya Sistema – self-contained navigation system) and RSKM-2 (Rahdiolokatsionnaya Sistema Kontrolya Mesta – radio co-ordinate monitoring system). Later-production An-12BPs were built with a wider cargo door and revised cabin windows placement. Some An-12BP aircraft were built at the factories as commercial transports with all military or sensitive equipment removed, the designation for these aircraft was unchanged.
(Tsiklon – Cyclone) Two Tashkent-built An-12BP aircraft (CCCP-11530 and CCCP-11531) were converted at the factory as weather research laboratories. Mission equipment consisted of a measurement suite, a data recording suite and cloud-seeding equipment. Both aircraft were subsequently stripped of their mission equipment reverting to transport duties.
(Shturmanskij – for navigators) Navigator Trainer version of the An-12B with ten trainee workstations.
An improved commercial variant intended to carry standardised freight pallets. The meaning of the BSM suffix is unclear.
In 1969 Antonov proposed IFR tanker and receiver variants of the An-12B. The An-12BZ-1 was the tanker with a single podded refuelling hose/drogue unit.
In 1969 Antonov proposed IFR tanker and receiver variants of the An-12B. The An-12BZ-12 was the receiver aircraft with a fixed probe above the cockpit.
Developed from 1964 as an increased-payload version with new undercarriage, new tail unit similar to the Antonov An-24 and a fully pressurised fuselage of increased length and width incorporating a loading ramp in a cargo hold door. This project was not proceeded with but led to the An-40 STOL Transport.
A projected version powered by 5,500ehp Ivchenko AI-30 turboprop engines.
(Oopravleniye Pogranichnym Sloyem – BLC [boundary layer control]) A BLC variant of the proposed An-12D, with two turbo-compressors above the wing centre section feeding compressed air to the slots on the wing, and a third in the fin fillet feeding compressed air to slots on the tail surfaces.
(Modifitseerovannyy – modified) Was a standard-production aircraft fitted with 5,180ehp AI-20DM turboprop engines. Despite higher performance this upgraded An-12 was not proceeded with due to cancellation of the AI-20DM engines.
([dopolinitel'nyye bahki]Pod polom) Initial-production An-12 fitted with two additional fuel tanks under the cargo hold floor.
(Polyarny, Lyzhnyy – Polar ski-equipped) Two aircraft converted with fixed ski undercarriage, heavily insulated hold and flight deck, powerful onboard heater for the cabin and engines, and the underfloor tanks of the 'An-12BP Polar'.
(Postanovchik Pomekh) (a.k.a. An-12BK-PP) An Electronic Countermeasures version developed in 1970 to operate within large formations of regular An-12 transports providing ECM for the whole formation. The automatic system identified air defense radars and aimed jamming signals in their direction. The active Booket (bouquet) jammers radiated from three blisters under the fuselage and the tail gunners position was fitted with ASO-24 (Avtomaht Sbrosa Otrazhately – automatic chaff dispenser) chaff dispensers with the chaff cut to length as determined by the frequency of the radar detected. Three pairs of heat exchangers were fitted to the forward fuselage sides providing cooling for the mission equipment, and a fourth pair above the main gear fairings. 27 aircraft were converted from An-12BK aircraft, with at least two aircraft completed with only the chaff dispensers and non-standard rod aerials on the forward fuselage. At least two An-12PP aircraft were de-militarised and sold to civilian owners retaining the distinctive ogival tailcone.
(Poiskovo-Spasatel’nyi) SAR version of the An-12B with Istok-Golub emergency UHF homing system, with Yorsh (Ruff) or Gagara (Loon) rescue boats, as well as droppable inflatable liferafts and crews for the boats. Several aircraft were used for recovering Cosmonauts from sea landings. Others were operated by the AV-MF.
(Reaktivnny – jet boosted) A design project for a jet-powered An-12 with a radically altered swept wing and tail and 25-tonne (55,153 lb) payload carried for 2,500 km (1,550miles), to have been powered by four Lotarev D-36 high-bypass turbofans. This unbuilt projected aircraft evolved into the Antonov An-112.
([samolyot] Razvedchik – reconnaissance aircraft) The unconfirmed probable designation for the small number of ELINT aircraft operated by the VVS from 1970. These aircraft were fitted with mission equipment in dielectric fairings forward of the main undercarriage wells and additional blade aerials above the forward fuselage and two blade aerials under the forward fuselage. Two aircraft are known to have operated without the blade aerials.
(Rahdiatsionnyy Razvedchik – radiation reconnaissance) Nuclear Biological and Chemical warfare reconnaissance aircraft. At least three aircraft equipped with RR8311-100 air sampling pods on special cradles either side of the forward fuselage. Two of these aircraft are known to have also been equipped with a toxic agent detector pod on the starboard fuselage side.
A projected JATO (Jet-Assisted Take-Off) version of the An-12, to be fitted with two jettisonable PRD-63 solid-propellant rocket boosters fitted either side of the aft fuselage.
([samolyot] Spetsiahl'novo Naznacheniya – special-mission [aircraft]) To enable the Soviet Army's T-54 main battle tank to be airlifted, Antonov designed the An-12SN with a cargo hold increased in width from 3m (9ft10in) to 3.45 m (11 ft), powered by 5,180ehp AI-20DK engines boosted by a 3,800 kg thrust (8,380lbst) Mikulin RD-9 turbojet installed at the base of the fin in place of the gunners station. The Antonov An-22 was found to be more suitable for carrying the tank so further work on the An-12SN was abandoned.
(Toplivovoz – tanker) A fuel tanker variant used to transport fuel for automobiles or aircraft, or rocket fuels and oxidisers. Special tanks were fitted in the hold as required.
A single An-12B (CCCP-04366) was custom-built for long-range transport and geophysical survey duties in Antarctica. The aircraft was fitted with a long under-nose radome, a MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detector) boom extending from the gunner's position and mission equipment in the insulated cabin. On arrival in Antarctica a ski undercarriage, as used on the An-12PL, was fitted.
An-12T Mystery Designations
Suffixes starting with 'T' which have unknown meaning. Aircraft with these suffixes were delivered from the Voronezh and Tashkent factories to both military and civil customers without obvious reason for the 'T'.
    • An-12TA
    • An-12TB
    • An-12TBP
    • An-12TBK
(Oopravleniye [Pogranichnym sloyem] – BLC) In 1962 a BLC (boundary layer control) version of the An-12 was projected with simple flaps replacing the double-slotted Fowler flaps and compressed air supplied by two DK1-26 compressors in underwing pods. It was envisaged that the use of JATO would dramatically improve the field performance.
(Oovelichennoy Dahl'nosti – with increased range) An interim extended-range variant fitted with two (An-12UD) acquired from Myasischev 3M bombers, in the freight hold. The prototype was converted from Irkutsk-built An-12 c/n 9901007.
(Oovelichennoy Dahl'nosti – with increased range) An interim extended-range variant fitted with three (An-12UD-3) auxiliary tanks, acquired from Myasischev 3M bombers, in the freight hold. Converted from Tashkent-built c/n 3341007.
"Zebra" (Vozdushnij Kommandnij Punkt – Airborne command post) A single Irkutsk-built An-12A (c/n 9900902) was converted into an airborne command post. Three cigar-shaped fairings were carried at the wing-tips and fin-tip, other equipment was housed in long fairings either side of the rear fuselage and a war room was situated in the pressurised fuselage. Due to the superior performance of the Ilyushin Il-22 Zebra airborne command post, the An-12VKP was not proceeded with.
Derived directly from the An-12D, was to have been powered by four 5,500ehp AI-30 turboprop engines and four 2,550kgp (5,260 lb-st) Kolesov RD-36-35 booster/brake engines, fitted with thrust reversers, in paired nacelles between the inner and outer turboprop engines. A full-scale mock-up was completed in 1965 but the VVS selected the larger and faster Ilyushin Il-76 for production instead.
An anti-submarine warfare variant of the proposed An-40, to be powered by mixed-fuel engines burning kerosene and liquid hydrogen.
A version of the An-40 fitted with BLC (Boundary Layer Control). Compressed air for the BLC slots was provided by three turbo-compressors, derived from the Kolesov RD36-35 turbojet, in fairings above the wing centre-section.
An-12 - Four 2490kW (3495shp) Ivchenko AI-20K turboprops driving AV68 four blade constant speed propellers.
Y-8A - Four 3170kW (4250shp) Zhuzhou WJ-6 turboprops driving four blade constant speed propellers.

An-12 - Max speed 777km/h (420kt), max cruising speed 670km/h (361kt). Range with max payload 3600km (1940nm), range with full fuel load 5700km (3075nm).
Y-8A - Max speed 660km/h (357kt), economical cruising speed 530km/h (286kt). Range with max fuel load 5615km (3030nm), range with max payload 1275km (690nm).
An-12 - Empty 28,000kg (61,730lb), max takeoff 61,000kg (134,480lb).
Y-8 - Empty equipped 35,490kg (77,237lb), max takeoff 61,000kg (134,480lb).
An-12 - Wing span 38.00m (124ft 8in), length 33.10m (108ft 7in), height 10.53m (34ft 7in). Wing area 121.7m2 (1310sq ft).
Y-8 - Same except for length 34.02m (111ft 8in), height 11.16m (36ft 8in). Wing area 121.9m2 (1311.7sq ft).
Flightcrew consisting of two pilots, a flight engineer, radio operator and navigator housed (the latter in the glazed nose). Can be arranged to accommodate 14 passengers plus freight, with military versions carrying up to 90 troops. Max payload 20,000kg (44,090lb).
Production totals for the An-12 are estimated at 1243 aircraft, with more than 200 having nominally seen civil service with Aeroflot, plus many other Soviet client state airlines.
Shaanxi had reportedly delivered 75 by 2001 for military and civil use. 

Mid sized turboprop freighter
The An-12 (NATO reporting name "Cub") was developed to fulfil a Soviet air force requirement for a turboprop freighter. Based on the twin turboprop An-8 which was developed for Aeroflot service, the four engine An-12 was developed in parallel with the commercial passenger An-10.
The prototype An-12 flew in 1958, powered by Kuznetsov NK-4 turboprops, and was essentially a militarised An-10 with a rear loading cargo ramp. Approximately 100 An-10s were built, the type seeing service between 1959 and 1973.
Series production of the An-12 in a number of mainly military variants continued until 1973, from which time it was replaced in Soviet service by the Ilyushin Il-76 (described elsewhere). The An-12BP is the basic military transport version of the Cub. Other military versions are in use as Elint and ECM platforms.
The defensive rear gunner's turret is faired over on civil An-12s. Operators have included Aeroflot, Cubana, LOT Polish Airlines and Bulair for civil and quasi military work.
China's Xian began redesign work of the An-12 in 1969, but after the first prototype the program was transferred to Shaanxi. A number of Chinese versions were developed, including the civil variants Y-8B and Y-8C, the latter developed with cooperation from Lockheed, similar Y-8F-200, Y-8F livestock carrier and Y-8H aerial survey model.

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