Antonov

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Antonov State Company
Native name Державне підприємство "Антонов"
Type State-owned company
Industry Aerospace and defence
Founded 31 May 1946
Headquarters Kyiv/Hostomel, Ukraine
Key people Oleg Antonov, first chief/prominent designer; Dmytro Kiva, chief
Products aircraft of various applications,
aircraft maintenance,
cargo air transport
Employees 12,000
Divisions Antonov Serial Production Plant,
Antonov Airlines,
Antonov Airport
Website antonov.com

Antonov State Company (Ukrainian: Державне підприємство "Антонов"), formerly the Antonov Aeronautical Scientific-Technical Complex (Antonov ASTC) (Ukrainian: Авіаційний науково-технічний комплекс імені Антонова, АНТК ім. Антонова), and earlier the Antonov Design Bureau, is a Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing and services company. Antonov's particular expertise is in the fields of very large aeroplanes and aeroplanes using unprepared runways. Antonov (model prefix An-) is the most common aeroplane brand on the planet, with total of 22,000 aircraft built and thousands of planes currently operating in the former Soviet Union and the developing countries.[1]

Antonov StC is a state-owned commercial company. Its headquarters and main industrial ground are located in and adjacent to Kiev.[2]

History[edit]

Soviet era[edit]

Foundation and relocation[edit]

Antonov An-2, mass-produced Soviet utility aeroplane.

The company was established in 1946 in Novosibirsk as a top-secret Soviet Research and Design Bureau No. 153, headed by Oleg Antonov and specialised in turboprop military transport aircraft. The An-2 biplane is a major achievement of this period with hundreds of aircraft still operated as of 2013.[3] In 1952, the Bureau was relocated to Kiev, a city with rich aviation history where aircraft-manufacturing infrastructure was being restored after the World War II destruction.

First serial aircraft and expansion[edit]

An-12, Cold War-era tactical transport, in flight.

In 1957, the bureau successfully introduced the An-10/An-12 family of mid-range turboprop aeroplanes into mass production (thousands of aircraft were manufactured). The model have been seeing heavy combat and civil use around the globe to the present day, most notably in the Vietnam War, Soviet war in Afghanistan and the Chernobyl disaster relief megaoperation.

In 1959, the bureau began construction of the separate Flight Testing and Improvement Base in suburban Hostomel (now the Antonov Airport).

In 1965, the Antonov An-22 heavy military transport enters serial production, supplementing the An-12 in major military and humanitarian airlifts of the Soviet Union. The model became the first Soviet wide-body aircraft and remains the world's largest turboprop-powered aircraft to date. Antonov designed and presented a nuclear-powered version of the An-22 which, however, never entered flight testing phase.

In 1966, after major expansion in the Sviatoshyn neighbourhood of the city, the company was renamed to another disguise name "Kiev Mechanical Plant". Two independent aircraft production and repair facilities, under engineering supervision of the Antonov Bureau, also appeared in Kiev during this period.

Prominence and Antonov's retirement[edit]

Antonov An-24, the Soviet Union's most common regional airliner.

In 1970s and early 1980s, the company established itself as USSR's main designer of military transport aircraft with dozens of new modifications in development and production. After Oleg Antonov's death in 1984, the company is officially renamed as the Research and Design Bureau named after O.K. Antonov (Russian: Опытно-конструкторское бюро имени О.К. Антонова) while continuing the use of "Kiev Mechanical Plant" alias for some purposes.

Late Soviet-era: superlarge projects and first commercialisation[edit]

An-225 is the largest operating aircraft in the world.

In late 1980s, the Antonov Bureau achieved global prominence after introduction of its extra large aeroplanes. The An-124 "Ruslan" (1982) became Soviet Union's serial-produced strategic airlifter. The Bureau enlarged the "Ruslan" design even more for the Soviet space shuttle programme logistics, creating the An-225 "Mriya" in 1989. "Mriya" has since been the world's largest and heaviest aeroplane.

End of the Cold War and perestroyka allowed the Antonov's first step to commercialisation and foreign expansion. In 1989, the Antonov Airlines subsidiary was created for its own aircraft maintenance and cargo projects.

Independent Ukraine[edit]

Antonov Design Bureau remained a state-owned company after Ukraine achieved its independence in 1991 and is since regarded as a strategic national asset.

Decreased military orders[edit]

Expansion to free market[edit]

Rollout of the first serially-produced An-148 at Antonov's hangar in Kiev, 2009. An An-124 under maintenance seen in the far corner of the hangar.

Since independence, Antonov is busy with certifying and marketing of its models (both Soviet-era and newly developed) to free commercial aeroplanes' markets. New models introduced to serial production and delivered to customers include the Antonov An-140, Antonov An-148 and Antonov An-158 regional airliners.

Among several modernisation projects, Antonov received orders for upgrading "hundreds" of its legendary An-2 utility planes still in operation in Azerbaijan, Cuba and Russia to the An-2-100 upgrade version.[3]

Production facilities' consolidation[edit]

During the Soviet period, not all Antonov-designed aircraft were manufactured by the company itself. This was a result of Soviet industrial strategy that split military production between different regions of the USSR to minimise potential war loss risks. As a result, Antonov aeroplanes are often assembled by the specialist contract manufacturers.

In 2009, the once-independent "Aviant" aeroplane-assembling plant in Kyiv became part of the Antonov State Company, facilitating a full serial manufacturing cycle of the company. However, the old tradition of co-manufacturing with contractors is continued, both with Soviet-time partners and with new licensees like Iran's HESA.[4]

Products and activities[edit]

Fields of commercial activity of Antonov ASTC include:

Aircraft[edit]

Antonov's aeroplanes (design office prefix An) range from the rugged An-2 biplane (which itself is comparatively large for a biplane) through the An-28 reconnaissance aircraft to the massive An-124 Ruslan and An-225 Mriya strategic airlifters (the latter being the world's heaviest aircraft with only one currently in service). Whilst less famous, the An-24, An-26, An-30 and An-32 family of twin turboprop, high winged, passenger/cargo/troop transport aircraft are important for domestic/short-haul air services particularly in parts of the world once led by communist governments. The An-72/An-74 series of small jetliners is slowly replacing that fleet, and a larger An-70 freighter is under certification.

The Antonov An-148 is a new regional airliner of twin-turbofan configuration. Over 150 aircraft have been ordered since 2007. A stretched version is in development, the An-158 (from 60–70 to 90–100 passengers).

Aircraft Name NATO Maiden flight Remarks
A-40 Krylaty Tank 1942 Winged tank
An-2 Kukuruznik Colt 31 August 1947 multi-purpose, biplane, single-engine utility transport.
An-2-100 Kukuruznik Colt 10 July 2013 An-2 upgrade version refitted with Motor Sich kerosene-fueled engine (instead of original avgas).[3]
An-3 Colt 13 May 1980 turboprop conversion of An-2
An-4 Colt 1950 float-equipped An-2
An-6 Meteo Colt weather reconnaissance aircraft based on An-2
An-8 Camp 1955 medium military transport
An-10 Ukraine Cat March, 1957 medium turboprop-powered airliner
An-11 Motorised variant of the A-11 glider
An-12 Cub 16 December 1957 military turboprop-powered transport, developed from An-10
An-13 1962 Light aircraft developed from the A-13M motor glider
An-14 Pchelka Clod 1958 light twin-engine transport
An-20 light turbocharged piston engine aircraft, developed from Cessna 210[citation needed]
An-22 Antei Cock February, 1965 extremely large turboprop transport
An-24 Coke 20 October 1959 twin-turboprop airliner
An-26 Curl 1969 twin-turboprop transport, derived from An-24
An-28 Cash September, 1974 twin-turboprop light transport, developed from An-14
An-30 Clank 1967 An-24 adapted for aerial photography and mapping
An-32 Cline 1976 twin-turboprop hot-and-high transport, up-engined An-26 airframe
An-38 Cash 1994 twin-turboprop light transport, stretched An-28
An-50 Airliner project, developed from An-24V
An-51 Civil piston utility aircraft,
An-52 Light twin-piston aircraft,
An-70 16 December 1994 large military transport, powered by four propfan engines, to replace An-12
An-71 Madcap 12 July 1985 naval AWACS development of An-72
An-72 Cheburashka Coaler 31 August 1977 STOL transport, utilising the Coandă effect
An-74 Cheburashka Coaler 1983 civil version of An-72; version with engines below wings is called An-74TK-300[7]
An-88 AWACS project, not completed
An-91 Twin-engined cabin monoplane development of Cessna 310
An-124 Ruslan Condor 26 December 1982 strategic airlifter; largest aircraft ever mass-produced
An-140 17 September 1997 short-range turboprop airliner, to replace An-24
An-148 17 December 2004 regional jet for 68–85 passengers
An-158 28 April 2010 stretched version of An-148 for 99 passengers
An-174 enlarged An-74 with engines below wings
An-178 military transport based on the An-158
An-180 cancelled medium propfan airliner, around 175 passengers
An-204
An-218 postponed propfan- or turbofan-powered widebody airliner
An-225 Mriya Cossack 21 December 1988 An-124 derived strategic airlifter; largest aircraft ever built; only one has been put into service
OKA-38 Storch Copy of Fieseler Fi 156
SKV Basis for An-14
T-2M Maverick ultralight trike for recreational club use and special forces requirements

Gliders[edit]

Antonov A-15 in Czech markings

Major contractors and partners[edit]

Contract and licensee manufacturers[edit]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

External links[edit]