An-70 Tested On Long-Haul Routes

Antonov State Enterprise (Kyiv) is continuing to work on the program of An-70 medium military transport aircraft, NRCU says referring to the Antonov’s press service report.

«After the completion of state joint tests, the plane began to fly long distances. In particular it made a flight on the Kyiv-Odesa-Kharkiv-Lviv-Ivano-Frankivsk-Kyiv route, the duration of which was eight hours and eight minutes,» the press service admits.

The company says that the An-70 within the flight, performed by the joint crew of Antonov and the State Research and Test Center, intersected multiple storm fronts. «Thus, in real weather conditions the crew checked the work of the radar system on identifying and recognizing hazardous meteorological formations, which was positively appreciated.

The An-70 has been successfully tested under natural icing conditions. All systems were functioning as normal. Throughout the flight temperature fields, vibration and noise levels on the workplaces of the crew members and in the cargo cabin were controlled,» the developer says.

«The An-70 once again proved all the declared characteristics and was highly praised by the test team of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine,» reads the report.


The Antonov An-70 is a four-engine short takeoff and landing tactical military medium transports, and the first large aircraft to be powered by propfan engines.

Developing nation: Ukraine.
Manufacturer/designer: AVIANT/Antonov.
Production Lines: Kiev.
Type aircraft: Heavy transport aircraft.
First flight: 16 December 1994.
Built: 2 prototypes.

The An-70 is a high-wing monoplane with four wing-mounted propfan engines, it has a full glass cockpit and fly-by-wire controls. Powered by four Progress D-27 propfan engines, each turning a pair of contra-rotating scimitar propellers.

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. There is no other airplane with such ability. Taking into account all likely possibilities it is possible to come to conclusion that the AN-70 STOL capabilities as much as twice reduce both the number of aircraft required for the mission and the cost of the operation. According to the design estimations, AN-70 can be operated from/to elevated airfields placed at altitudes up to 3000 m over sea level. 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.

The built-in aerial delivery system ensures autonomous loading/unloading of a wide range of cargoes and their air dropping. The onboard loading equipment consists of four overhead rail electric motor hoists and two onboard electric winches. At customer request, the aircraft can be equipped with easily removable upper deck or roller conveyer to automate container handling operations.

The first prototype was lost during its fourth flight on 10 Feb 1995 in a mid-air collision with an Antonov An-72 being used as a chase plane, the test crew of seven were killed. The aircraft proved so promising during its first three flights that Antonov decided to press on and converted the static-test prototype into a flying prototype. The second airframe took to the air only 21 months after the crash of the first one, on 8 December 1996. (

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