Antonov An-26 - Wikipedia
Antonov An-26
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The Antonov An-26 (NATO reporting name: Curl) is a twin-engined turboprop civilian and military transport aircraft, designed and produced in the Soviet Union from 1969 to 1986.[1]
An-26 of the Serbian Air Force
RoleTransport aircraft
National originSoviet Union
Design groupAntonov
First flight21 May 1969[1]
Primary usersSoviet Air Force
Pakistan Air Force
Vietnamese Air Force
Number built1,403
Developed fromAntonov An-24
VariantsAntonov An-32
After successful operations of the An-24T tactical transport in austere locations, interest in a version with a retractable cargo ramp increased. Initial studies for the retractable ramp were carried out as part of the projected An-40 medium transport. When given the go-ahead for the An-26 in March 1968, the Antonov OKB adapted the ramp design of the An-40 to the An-24 fuselage, resulting in the An-26. Particular attention was given to the military mission, and the majority of early An-26 production was delivered to the VTA (voyenno-transportnaya aviatsiya).[1]
Using the majority of the An-24 airframe, with its high-set cantilevered wings, twin turboprops and stalky main undercarriage, the An-26 included military equipment, such as tip-up paratroop canvas seats, an overhead traveling hoist, bulged observation windows and parachute static line attachment cables. The An-26 made its public debut at the 27th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget where the second prototype, CCCP-26184 (c/n00202), was shown in the static aircraft park.[citation needed]
The An-26 is also manufactured without a license agreement[1] in China by the Xian Aircraft factory as the Y-14, later changed to be included in the Xian Y7 series.[1]
Total production
Total Production[2]198619851984198319821981198019791978197719761975197419731972197119701969
Operational history
The An-26 has a secondary bomber role with underwing bomb racks. The racks are attached to the fuselage in front of and behind the rear landing gear. In the bombing role it was extensively used by the Vietnam People's Air Force during the Cambodian–Vietnamese War and Sudanese Air Force during the Second Sudanese Civil War and the War in Darfur.[3] Also Russian Forces train with the An-26 as a bomber.[4]
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An-26 cargo cabin
CAAC Antonov An-26 at China Aviation Museum, Beijing
"Curl-A" : Twin-engine tactical transport aircraft.[1]
Convertible passenger/cargo aircraft modified from 'An-26' aircraft at the Kyiv plant from 1999.[1]
An-26 Nel'mo
An arctic surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft retrofitted with Nel'mo equipment.[1]
An-26 Pogoda
(Weather) Another aircraft for weather control duties, similar to the 'An-26 Tsiklon ', with a simplified equipment test lab.[1]
An-26 Polyot
(Flight) A single aircraft retrofitted for the purpose of research of unified air traffic control and monitoring system throughout the USSR, with a comprehensive navigation test lab including precision compasses and Doppler speed/shift sensors.[1]
An-26 Sfera
(Sphere) A single production aircraft built as a laboratory for atmospheric research.[1]
An-26 Shtabnoy
(Shtab: or Headquarters) some 'An-26's delivered to the Soviet and DDR air forces for use as staff transports/mobile command posts.[1]
An-26 Vita
An-26 Vitauk
(Life) A single mobile operating room, surgery and intensive care unit ('25 Blue', c/n5406), for the Ukrainian Air Force.[1]
A one-off assault transport prototype with higher performance due to removal of some military equipment.[1]
(Avtomatizirovannaya sistema lyotnogo kontrolya – automated flight control and monitoring system) : A modern flight control and monitoring system equipped with automatic calibration and navigation systems. Recognizable by the distinctive pod low on the forward fuselage side.[1]
A civil cargo version equipped with roller gangsways which can be swung up against the cabin walls when not in use. It was also equipped with two ZMDB Progress (Ivchyenko) Al-24VT turboprop powerplants to deliver higher thrust.[1]
'Mobile Hospital' : The prototype 'An-26B' retrofitted as a mobile civilian emergency hospital.[1]
An-26B Tsiklon
(Cyclone) A weather research/control and cloud-seeding aircraft for the Central Aerologic Laboratory. This aircraft was used for rain induction and protection using cloud-seeding chemicals dropped from slab-sided pods hung from pylons.[1]
Convertible passenger/cargo aircraft modified from 'An-26B' aircraft at the Kyiv plant from 1999.[1]
Alternative designation for the 'An-26L'.[1]
Alternative designation of the 'An-26RL' Arctic surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.[1]
(Dal'niy – long-range) An extended range version with extra fuel in wing tanks and additional external tanks attached to the airframe of the fuselage. One aircraft ('21 Yellow', c/n 13806) was retrofitted and delivered, but no further orders were forthcoming.[1]
An-26K Kaira
(Great Auk) A single An-26 aircraft converted to a Kaira test airframe for the development of airborne LASER guided systems.[1]
An-26K Kaplya
(Drop [of liquid]) After completion of the LASER designator trials the 'An-26K Kaira' was retrofitted to search or optically guided weapons as the navigation systems. During a night test flight at low level, in March 1989, the An-26K Kaplya suffered a massive bird strike, which consequently destroyed the windshield and injured the pilot, who involuntarily downed the aircraft into the Azov Sea.[1]
(​Kontrol'no-Poverochnaya Apparatura – Testing and calibration equipment) : A navigation aids inspecting aircraft with comprehensive navigation equipment and calibration equipment.[1]
A single 'An-26', (14 Orange, c/n 00607), used at Sperenberg Airfield near Berlin, for airfield and NAVAID calibration.[1]
(Letayuschaya Laboratoriya – Protivolodochnoy Oborony – ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) testbed) : A single 'An-26A' aircraft, (c/n 0901), retrofitted and modified to accommodate range of sophisticated laboratory for surveillance systems, detecting and tracking stealthy nuclear submarines.[1]
Firefighting version, for delivery of field equipment and para-dropping firefighters in lieu of water-bombing (any more info?).[1]
An-26M Spasatel
(Rescue worker) Flying hospital with an emergency surgery facility and consultation conference room.[1]
(Protivopozharnyy – firefighting) : Aircraft fire engine fighter, retrofitted with water lifting vessels in pods on either side of the lower fuselage.[1]
An-26P Prozhektor
(Projector or Searchlight) A single conversion of an An-26 as a guided missile system airframe.[1]
(RadioElektronnoye Protivodeystviye – ECM (Electronic Counter-Measures) [aircraft]) : Electronic countermeasures aircraft fitted with active jammers in cylindrical pods on either side of the lower fuselage sides, as well as chaff and I/R flares for self-defense.[1]
(Razvedchik Ledovyy – An arctic surveillance, reconnaissance and monitoring) : An arctic surveillance, reconnaissance and monitoring aircraft used to monitor the icebergs and ice formations at arctic circle fitted with SLAR (Sideways Looking Airborne Radar) in long pods on either side of the lower fuselage, extra fuel in a cargo hold fuel tank, provision for surveyors and radar operators.[1]
Alternative unit designation of the 'An-26RT' ELINT(ELectronic INTelligence) aircraft.[1]
"Curl-B": (First use of the designation) A basic designation for a series of ELINT aircraft fitted with a wide range of electromagnetic surveillance equipment. At least one aircraft, (tactical code '152'), retrofitted with the Tarahn (Ramming Attack) ELINT suite for use in Afghanistan.[1]
(ReTranslyator – Interpreter -Translator): (Substitute of designation) Battlefield communications relay aircraft, fitted with powerful Inzheer (Fig) radio relay system, for connecting forward units to headquarters units.[1]
Alternative unit designation of the 'An-26RT' ELINT aircraft.[1]
(Salon – [VIP] Lounge) : A new VIP Lounge aircraft for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense delivered about 1997.[1]
(Shturmanskiy – Navigator) : Navigator trainer for the VVS, 36 built at Kyiv.[1]
Non-USSR /-Ukrainian versions
DDR An-26SM "369", later German Air Force "52+09", at the Museum Berlin-Gatow.
One aircraft modified for NAVAID calibration and flight monitoring for the East German Air Force and transferred to the post-unification German Air Force.[1]
One aircraft modified as an ELINT aircraft for the East German Air Force and transferred to the post-unification German Air Force.[1]
East German special duties aircraft.[1]
Unofficial East German designation for 'An-26's' operated by Transportfliegerstaffel 24 (transport squadron 24).[1]
Czechoslovakian ELINT conversion of one aircraft for ELINT duties.[1]
Xian Y-7H
Military transport version. Chinese production version.[1]
Xian Y-14
Initial designation of the 'AN-26' copy, later changed to 'Y-7H' (Hao – cargo).[1]
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Military operators
Map with military An-26 operators in blue, and former military An-26 operators in red
Russian An-26 intercepted by a British Typhoon over the Baltics in July 2015
Ukrainian An-26
Slovak Air Force An-26 at Farnborough Airshow, 2008
Russian Air Force Antonov An-26
Vietnam People's Air Force Antonov An-26
National Air Force of Angola – one An-24 or An-26 operated December 2015.[5]
Belarusian Air Force – three operated December 2016.[6]
 Cape Verde
Cape Verde Army – 3
Chad Air Force – three in service December 2016.[7]
23 Xian Y-7; 4 Xian Y-7-100; includes all types of Y-7 aircraft
Cuban Air Force – operated 17,[8] two in service December 2016.[9]
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo Air Force – three in service as of 2021.[10]
Ethiopian Air Force – one
 Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast Air Force – two in service as of 2021.[10]
Kazakh Air Force – five An-24 or An-26 in service December 2015.;[11] Received one refurbished An-26 from Ukraine on 3 November 2017.[12]
Kyrgyz Air Force – two donated from Russia in August 2017.[13]
Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force – one in service December 2016.[11]
Libyan Air Force – two An-24/An-26 as of December 2016.[11]
Malagasy Air Force – one
Moldovan Air Force – one as of December 2016.[14]
Mozambique Air Force – one as of December 2016.[14]
Namibian Air Force – one as of December 2016.[14]
Nicaraguan Air Force – four as of February 2018.[15][16]
Puntland Maritime Police Force – one[17]
Romanian Air Force – Two as 2021 will be withdrawn after 2023 of Alenia C-27J Spartan[18]
Serbian Air Force – two in service, four in reserve as of December 2016.[20]
Sudanese Air Force – six as of December 2016;[21] at least one used as an improvised bomber
Syrian Air Force – two as of December 2016;[22] one crashed
Uzbek Air Force – four as of December 2016[24]
Yemen Air Force – six
Former military operators
Afghan Air Force – All remaining aircraft retired June 2011. One of their An-26 which defected to Pakistan, is preserved at PAF Museum, Karachi
Bangladesh Air Force
Benin Air Force – two[25]
Bulgarian Air Force – five used from 1984 until 2011[18]
Royal Cambodian Air Force
An-26 of the Czech Air Force
 Republic of the Congo
Congolese Air Force – one
Czechoslovakian Air Force
 East Germany
East German Air Force
German Air Force
Guinea-Bissau Air Force
Hungarian Air Force – 11 delivered from 1974, last one retired June 2020.[18][26]
Hungarian Air Force Antonov An-26 departs RIAT at RAF Fairford, England
Iraqi Air Force
Mongolian Air Defense Forces Command – four
An-26 of the Lithuanian Air Force (now retired)
Lithuanian Air Force – three operated
Air Force of Mali
Niger Air Force – one
 North Yemen
North Yemen Air Force
Pakistani Air Force
Peruvian Air Force – 22 operated from 1977 to 1993
An-26 of the Polish Air Force (Operated before 2009, now retired)
Polish Air Force – 12 operated from 1972 to January 2009; retired[27]
Slovak Air Force – Two, retired in 2016, to be replaced by Alenia C-27J Spartan aircraft beginning in 2017.[28][29][30]
Somali Air Corps
 Soviet Union
Tanzanian Air Force – none; retired
Military of Turkmenistan – ten
 United States
United States Air Force – Operated 2003–2007 by the 6th Special Operations Squadron[31]
Vietnam People's Air Force [32]
Yugoslav Air Force – 14
Zambian Air Force and Air Defense Command – four
Civil operators
UTair Cargo An-26 at Pulkovo Airport
Polar Airlines An-26-100 at Yakutsk Airport
RAF-Avia An-26B at Birmingham Airport
Genex (two)
Air Bright (one)
Aerogaviota (three)[33]
SAS Cargo Group (one)
CityLine Hungary (four)
RAF-Avia (five)
Valan International Cargo Charter[34]
Exin (six)
Tajik Air (one)
AN-26 operators within Aeroflot and post break-up Commonwealth of Independent States (data from[1])
UGA – (Upravleniye Grazhdanskoy Aviatsii – Civil Aviation Directorate)OAO – (Otdel'nyy Aviaotryad – independent flight detachment)LO – (Lyvotnyy Otryad – flight squad) / Aviaeskadril'ya – squadrons)Home BaseCIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) Airline)
AzerbaijanBaku360th / 1st & 3rd squadronsBaku-BinaAZAL (no An-26s)
BelarusianGomel'105th / 2nd squadronGomel'Gomel'avia
1st Minsk353rd / 2nd SquadronMinsk-Loshitsa (Minsk-1)Belavia;Minsk-Avia
Central RegionsBykovo61st / 4th SquadronMoscow-BykovoBykovo Avia
Tula294thTulaTula Air Enterprise
East SiberianChita136th / 1st SquadronChitaChita Avia
Irkutsk134thIrkutsk-1Baikal Airlines
Far Eastern1st Khabarovsk289thKhabarovskDalavia Far East Airlines Khabarovsk
Kamchatka CAPA / PetropavlovskPetropavlovsk-KamchatskiyPetropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Air Enterprise
Sakhalin CAPA / Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk UAD147thYuzhno-Sakhalinsk / KhomutvoSakhalinskiye Aviatrassy
2nd Krasnoyarsk126thKrasnoyarsk-SevernyyKras Air
Khatanga221st / 2nd SquadronKhatanga
Leningrad2nd Leningrad70th / 2nd SquadronLeningrad-RzhevkaRzhevka Air Enterprise
Pskov320th / 2nd SquadronPskovPskov Avia
LithuanianVilnius277thVilniusLithuanian Airlines
MagadanAnadyr'150th / 2nd SquadronAnadyr'-Ugol'nyyChukotavia
1st Magadan185thMagadan-SokolKolyma-Avia
SeymchanSeymchanNW Aerial Forestry Protection Base
MoldavianKishinyov407thKishinyovAir Moldova
North CaucasianKrasnodar241stKrasnodarALK Kuban Airlines
1st Krasnodar406thKrasnodar
TajikLeninabad292nd / 2nd SquadronLeninabad
Training Establishments DirectorateKVLUGA (Kirovograd Civil Aviation Higher Flying School)KirovogradUkraine State Flight Academy
TurkmenKrasnovodsk360thKrasnovodskTurkmenistan Airlines/Khazar
Tyumen'Salekhard234th / 5th SquadronSalekhard
2ndTyumen'357thTyumen'-RoschchinoTyumen'AviaTrans (UTair)
KirovogradKirovograd-KhmelyovoyeAir URGA
Simferopol84thSimferopolAviakompaniya Krym / Crimea AL
MagnitogorskMagnitogorskMagnitogorsk Air Enterprise
1st Perm'Perm'-Bolshoye SavinoPerm Airlines
1st SverdlovskSverdlovsk-Kol'tsovoUral Airlines [Yekaterinburg]
VolgaPenza396thPenzaPenza Air Enterprise
SaranskSaranskSaransk Air Enterprise
West SiberianBarnaul341stBarnaulBarnaul Air Enterprise
Tomsk119thTomskTomsk Avia
Mirnyy190thMirnyyAlmazy Rossii – Sakha (Alrosa)
Yakutsk139th / 3rd SquadronYakutsk
GosNII GVF (Gosudarstvenny Nauchno-Issledovatel'skiy Institut Grazdahnskovo Vozdushnovo Flota – state scientific test institute for civil air fleet)Moscow - Sheremet'yevo-1
Accidents and incidents
Sudan Air Force Antonov An-26-100 crash-landed in 1997 at the airstrip of Gogrial. The plane was hit by SPLA-fire and had to make an emergency landing.
Aircraft on display
An-26 "52+09" at Berlin-Gatow
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988–89[89]
General characteristics
See also
Military transport aircraft
Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
Related lists
List of military aircraft of the Soviet Union and the CIS
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