25th anniversary of the AN-70’s maiden flight
December 16, 2019 is the 25th anniversary of AN-70 medium military STOL transport. The aircraft firstly rose into the sky controlled by the crew consisting of: test pilots Serhii Maksimov – captain, Volodymyr Lysenko – co-pilot, Volodymyr Nepochatyh test navigator, Andrii Kostrykin test radio operator, Pavlo Skotnikov test flight engineer, Mykhaylo Bereziuk chief test engineer.
AN-70 became a real highly technologically innovative aircraft which was ahead of its time. In particular, firstly in the world, the aircraft was powered by four D-27 engines with SV-27 counter-rotating propfans.
Test programme of the AN-70 was intensive and difficult enough. The aircraft demonstrated really outstanding characteristic in test flights at high angles of attack. Due to high lift-drag ratio, which reached 7.2 in a real flight, firstly in the aviation history the heavy transport flew with minimum speed of 96 km/h.
AN-70 can perform the typical transport mission (transportation of 20 t payload at a range of 3000 km) from unpaved airfield of 600-800 m length only. AN-70 can transport almost any item of aeromobile military and engineering vehicles used by armies of the world and to deliver them to poorly-equipped unpaved runways directly to the destination point.
In comparison with the analogues aircraft, the AN-70 can perform air dropping of cargoes and parachutists with twice less scatter and its crew can guide the aircraft to the calculated touchdown point with a pin-point accuracy.
Onboard monitoring and diagnostic systems make possible the autonomous operation of the AN-70 aircraft from poorly equipped airfields without the need for any special ground facilities. Aircraft maintenance is based on the “on-condition” strategy.
In January 2015, AN-70 was adopted by Armed Forces of Ukraine.
At present, ANTONOV’s specialists use experience of the AN-70 creation for new transports development.
One of the advanced projects is AN-188 with payload up to 50 t. Keeping the best characteristics of AN-70, the new transport will be fitted with modern engines and equipment.