Antonov An-22


The Antonov An-22 "Antei" (Russian: Ан-22 Антей, romanizedAn-22 Antey;[1] lit.'Antaeus'; NATO reporting name: "Cock") is a heavy military transport aircraft designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. Powered by four turboprop engines each driving a pair of contra-rotating propellers, the design was the first wide-body transport aircraft and remains the world's largest turboprop-powered aircraft to date. The An-22 first appeared publicly outside the Soviet Union at the 1965 Paris Air Show. Thereafter, the model saw extensive use in major military and humanitarian airlifts for the Soviet Union, and is still in service with the Russian Aerospace Forces.

An-22 "Antei"
Antonov An-22
Role Strategic airlifter
National origin Soviet Union
Manufacturer Antonov
First flight 27 February 1965
Introduction 1967
Status In limited service
Primary users Russian Aerospace Forces
Antonov Airlines
Produced 1966–1976
Number built 68

Design and development

First prototype of the An-22, pictured in 1991 at Gostomel Airport.
An-22. Front view
An-22. Bottom view

In the late 1950s, the Soviet Union required a large military transport aircraft to supplement the Antonov An-8 and An-12s then entering service.[2] Originally known as the An-20, the model is a conventional multi-engined high-wing design.[2] In the early 1960s, the Antonov bureau produced a wooden mock up at its Kyiv, Ukraine, workshops of what was designated the Model 100.[2] The prototype, now designated the An-22, was rolled out on 18 August 1964 and first flew on 27 February 1965.[2] The prototype was given the name Antaeus (sometimes misspelled Antheus) and, after four months of test-flying, was displayed at the 1965 Paris Air Show.[2] All aircraft were built at the Tashkent State Aircraft Factory and the first military delivery was made to the Air Transport Wing at Ivanovo Airbase in 1969.[2]

The aircraft was designed as a strategic airlifter, designed specifically to expand the Soviet Airborne Forces' capability to land with their then-new BMD-1 armoured vehicles. The An-22 cargo hold can accommodate four BMD-1s compared to only one in the An-12.

It has the capability to takeoff from austere, unpaved, and short airstrips, allowing airborne troops to perform air-landing operations. This is achieved by four pairs of contra-rotating propellers, similar to those on the Tupolev Tu-114. The propellers and exhaust from the engines produce a slipstream over the wings and large double-slotted flaps. The landing gear is ruggedized for rough airstrips. In early versions tire pressures could be adjusted in flight for optimum landing performance. That feature was removed in later models.

The An-22 follows traditional cargo transport design with a high-mounted wing allowing a large cargo space of 33 m in length and a usable volume of 639 m³. The forward fuselage is fully pressurized and provides space for 5 to 8 crew and up to 28 passengers, but the cargo space is pressurized to only 3.55 PSI / 0.245 bar allowing for a lighter airframe. A door equipped with pressure bulkhead is located at frame 14, separating the cargo attendant's compartment from the main cargo compartment. This allows the rear cargo doors to be opened during flight for paratroops and equipment drop. Like the An-12, the aircraft has a circular fuselage section. The An-22 has set a number of payload and payload-to-height world records.[citation needed]

The An-22 has the general appearance of an enlarged version of the earlier Antonov An-12 except that it is fitted with a twin tail. This gives the An-22 better engine-out performance, and reduces height restrictions for hangars. Also of note are large anti-flutter masses on the top of each tail.

Soviet 1965 postage stamp showcasing the An-22 success at the Paris Air Show.

Only one production variant was built, the standard An-22.[clarification needed] Prototypes, such as the one first featured at the 1965 Paris Air Show had fully glazed noses that lacked the nose-mounted radar of production models. Those aircraft had the radar mounted below the right wheel well fairing, forward of the wheels. Antonov designated a variant with a modified electrical system and an additional augmented flight control system the An-22A but the designation was not used by the military.[2]

A civil airliner version with a lengthened fuselage capable of seating 724 passengers on upper and lower decks was studied but was not built.[3]

Total production

Total Production[4] 1975 1974 1973 1972 1971 1970 1969 1968 1967 1966 1965 1964 1963
68 12 9 9 8 8 7 7 1 1 4 1 0 1


The An-22 is capable of operations at airports with unpaved runways. Here the An-22 lands at Gao International Airport in Mali, 2016
Drawing of the An-22's proposed amphibious variant
Side profile
Three original prototypes were built at the Antonov facility in Kyiv, with glass nose.
Amphibious An-22
An amphibian version of the An-22 was proposed, but did not progress past the scale model phase.
Initial production variant with external start system, 37 built at Tashkent.
Improved variant with air-start capability, modified electrical system, and updated radio and navigation equipment, 28 built at Tashkent.
Conversion of two An-22s to carry wing centre sections or outer wings of Antonov An-124 or An-225 externally above fuselage. Fitted with third centreline fin.[5]

Several other An-22 variants were projected and constructed by Antonov but never entered serial production, notably a nuclear-powered aircraft and a ballistic missile platform.[citation needed]

Operational history


The An-22 was originally built for the Soviet Air Force and Aeroflot (the state airline). Conversion from An-12 in the Air Force began in July 1974. Several Military Transport Aviation units were equipped. The 12th Mginsk Red Banner Military Transport Aviation Division (based at Migalovo) was one of the units which had its three regiments entirely equipped with the An-22s. Another unit that operated it was the 566th Solnechnogorsk Military Transport Aviation Regiment, which used the An-22 from 1970 to 1987.

An early use of the An-22 was to deliver Soviet humanitarian aid to Peru in July 1970 following the Ancash earthquake. One An-22 disappeared on 18 July during these relief flights. An-22s were also used to deliver Soviet military aid to Egypt and Syria during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, to Angola in 1975, and to Ethiopia in 1977.[6]

The An-22s from Migalovo were used for the initial deployment of the Soviet Airborne Troops (VDV) during the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. One An-22 was shot down near Kabul on 28 October 1984, at takeoff, with about 250 casualties as the aircraft was used as troop carrier, probably shot down by an SA-7 missile.[7] In 1980, one An-22 crashed at Vnukovo Airport while two crashed at Migalovo (in 1992 and 1994).

In 1984, military An-22s were used to deliver Mi-8 helicopters to Ethiopia during drought relief operations.

In 1986 the aircraft of the 8th Military Air Transport Aviation Regiment from Migalovo were used to deliver materials for the Chernobyl disaster relief operation.

During 1987 the An-22s were used to deliver military equipment to Angola. A year later the military An-22s were used to deliver 15,000 tons and 1,000 personnel for the 1988 Armenian earthquake relief operation.

View of an An-22 from behind.

The An-22 aircraft were often seen at the Le Bourget Air Show, and in 1988 delivered an engine from the An-124 to the Farnborough Airshow.

In late 1980s, the An-22s were used to deliver Internal Troops to many regional conflicts during and after the breakup of the Soviet Union. In 1995 they deployed the Russian peacekeeping force from the 98th Guards Airborne Division during the Bosnian War.

Approximately 45 An-22s remained in service by the mid-1990s, mostly with the Russian Air Force, but these are slowly being replaced by the bigger turbofan-powered Antonov An-124. The remaining An-22s appear to be operated by an independent military transport aviation squadron at Migalovo base in Tver.

As of December 2018, six An-22s were in service with the 76th Military Transport Air Squadron at Tver, with only three aircraft airworthy. They are planned to remain in service until 2033.[8]

A single An-22 (registration number UR-09307) is in service with Antonov Airlines as of September 26, 2020 but was potentially damaged in 2022 during Russia's military action in Ukraine.[9]


An-22 of the Russian Air Force






  Soviet Union
8th Military Transport Aviation Regiment[10]
Other regiments


An-22 of Antonov Airlines





Incidents and accidents


As of January 2011, there have been 9 hull losses with a total of 95 fatalities.[citation needed]

Date Registration Location Fatalities Brief description
18 July 1970 СССР-09303 The Atlantic Ocean near Keflavík International Airport, Iceland All of 7 passengers + 15 crew Was transporting humanitarian aid to Lima, Peru.

Radar contact was lost 47 minutes after takeoff from Keflavík International Airport.[12]

28 December 2010 RA-09343 Near Krasny Oktyabr (Tula Oblast, Russia) All 12 crew

(no passengers)

RA-09343 of the Russian Air Force crashed killing all twelve crew. The aircraft was on a positioning flight from Voronezh Airport to Migalovo airbase.[13] The aircraft had been in storage since 2001 and was brought back into flying condition in January 2010.[14][15]

Specifications (An-22)

Dorsally projected diagram of the Antonov An-22 Antheus.

Data from Jane's all the world's aircraft, 1991–92[16]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 5–6
  • Capacity: 28–29 pax / 80,000 kg (176,370 lb) maximum payload
  • Length: 57.92 m (190 ft 0 in) approx (dependent on nose config.)
  • Wingspan: 64.4 m (211 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 12.53 m (41 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 345 m2 (3,710 sq ft)
  • Airfoil: root:TsAGI S-5-16 ; tip: TsAGI S-5-13[17]
  • Empty weight: 114,000 kg (251,327 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 250,000 kg (551,156 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 43,000 kg (94,799 lb) maximum
  • Powerplant: 4 × Kuznetsov NK-12MA turboprop engines, 11,000 kW (15,000 shp) each (equivalent)
  • Propellers: 8-bladed contra-rotating constant-speed reversible-pitch propeller


  • Maximum speed: 740 km/h (460 mph, 400 kn)
  • Range: 5,000 km (3,100 mi, 2,700 nmi) with maximum payload
10,950 km (6,800 mi; 5,910 nmi) with maximum fuel and 45,000 kg (99,208 lb) payload
  • Service ceiling: 9,100 m (29,900 ft)
  • Wing loading: 724.6 kg/m2 (148.4 lb/sq ft) max
  • Power/mass: 0.1789 kW/kg (0.1088 hp/lb) max
  • Take-off run: 1,300 m (4,265 ft)
  • Landing run: 800 m (2,625 ft)

On display


A former Ukrainian Air Force AN-22 is on display at the Technik Museum Speyer in Speyer, Germany.

See also


Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


  1. ^ named for the mythical Greek half-giant
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Sebastian Zacharias (June 2001). "Antonov An-22 Antheus". Airliner World. pp. 58–62. ISSN 1465-6337.
  3. ^ Taylor 1969, p. 466
  4. ^ "✈ ✈ наша авиация". Archived from the original on 25 August 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  5. ^ Gordon, Komissarov and Komissarov Air International January 2006, pp. 35–36.
  6. ^ Gordon, Komissarov and Komissarov Air International January 2006, pp. 36–37.
  7. ^ Gordon, Komissarov and Komissarov Air International January 2006, p. 37.
  8. ^ Taghvaee, Babak (January 2019). "An-22 in the war on terror". Air International. Vol. 96, no. 1. pp. 20–21. ISSN 0306-5634.
  9. ^ "АЭРОПОРТ ГОСТОМЕЛЬ. Здесь был "русский мир"". YouTube. 2 April 2022.
  10. ^ "8th Military-Transport Aviation Regiment". Archived from the original on 12 February 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  11. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Antonov An-22A UR-09307 Kyiv-Gostomel Airport (GML)".
  12. ^ "Антонов АН-22 Антей". Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  13. ^ "RA09343 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 25 June 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  14. ^ "Антонов Ан-22А Бортовой №: RA-09343" (in Russian). Russian Planes. Archived from the original on 23 January 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  15. ^ "Giant Antonov An-22 cargo plane crashes in rural Russia". BBC News. 29 December 2010. Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  16. ^ Lambert, Mark; et al., eds. (1991). Jane's all the world's aircraft : 1991–92. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 9780710609656. OCLC 1035932568. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  17. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  • Alexander, Jean (1975). Russian Aircraft since 1910. London: Purnell Book Services.
  • Gordon, Yefim; Komissarov, Dmitry; Komissarov, Sergei (January 2006). "Antonov An-22: A Venerable Giant". Air International. pp. 30–37.
  • Gunston, Bill (1995). The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft 1875–1995. Osprey: London. ISBN 1-85532-405-9.
  • Stroud, John (1968). Soviet Transport Aircraft since 1945. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-00126-5.
  • Taylor, John W. R. (1969). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1969–70. London: Sampson Low Marston & Co., Ltd. ISBN 0-354-000-519.

Further reading

  • Pyotr Butowski, 'Air Power Analysis – Russian Federation Part 2' in International Air Power Review, Volume 13, Summer 2004, AIRtime Publishing Inc., Norwalk, CT.
  • Goebel, Greg (1 January 2006). "The Antonov Giants". Air Vectors. Archived from the original on 12 August 2006. Retrieved 28 June 2006.
  • "Antonov An-22 Antheus". Archived from the original on 18 June 2006. Retrieved 28 June 2006.
  • Walkaround An-22А RA-09309 at MAKS-2009, Second walk
  • Walkaround Ан-22 at Monino Museum, Russia
  • An-22
  • AN-22 specifications in comparison to other cargo charter aircraft
  • An-22
  • 8th air transport air regiment (in Russian)