General Information
Type An-12
Function Medium Transport
Year 1957
Crew 3 to 6
Type 4*AI-20K
Power at m 4*4000hp
Length 33.1m
Height 10.53m
Wingspan 38.0m
Tailplane span 12.2m
Wing area 121.73m2
Wheel Track 5.42m
Wheel Base 10.82m
Weights and loads
Empty 28,000kg
Normal Loaded 55,100kg
Maximum Loaded 61,000kg
Wing Load (kg/m2) 3.44
Power load (kg/hp) 453
Maximum 777km/h
Cruising 670km/h
Economy 580km/h
Landing 170km/h
Landing 500m
Takeoff 700m
10,000kg load 3400km
Ferry 6200km
Service 10,200m
Initial 10m/sec
Fuel 22,066kg
Cargo 20,000kg
Cabin size LxWxH 13.5x3.5x2.6m3
Floor Load 1500
Seats 60 paratroops
90 troops
2*23mm NR-23 in tail turret

An-12 (transport and special aircraft) by O.K.Antonov (NATO 'Cub')

(64k) Soviet An-12 from US Navy Photos, found at Roy Cochrun's ever changing Page; Photo (41k) of Bulgarian An-12 by George Pantalos at AVION FOTO;

The An-12 was developed from the An-8 parallel with the An-10 as a logistics aircraft. There was an idea keep the civil An-10 as a reserve for military: if necessary civil aircraft could be converted into military transport just by 'snapping on' different tail section. It is believed that An-10 and An-12 were assembled on the same production lines. Major difference is that An-12 rear fuselage is upswept and has large rear-loading doors, which open upwards and inward for air drops. For on-ground loading and unloading detachable ramp can be used. To provide area for the rear door, ventral fins of the An-10 were replaced by large forward extension of the tail fin.

Originally designed as a military transport, An-12 was fitted with defensive gunner position in the extreme tail. In the civil version armament was removed and the gunner's position blanked out. Crew of military An-12 includes 2 pilots, flight engineer, navigator, radio operator and rear gunner. Cabin for 14 passengers is added between the flight deck and cargo hold. The prototype and first 100 series An-12 had cargo hold pressurized. Starting from the 3rd batch, only flying deck and 14-seat compartment are pressurized, while the cargo hold is equipped with oxygen masks for paratroopers. This seriously restricts usefulness of the An-12 as paratroop carrier.

At the same time, strengthening of the fuselage structure allowed to increase payload from 12,000kg (prototype and early series) to 16,000kg and even 20,000kg (for compact cargo). Successful experiments were carried out with T-54 medium combat tank (35,000kg).

To handle heavy loads An-12 has built-in 2300kg capable gantry.

First flight took place on December 30 (March???), 1957

First export An-12 were delivered to India in 1961.

Victor Krasilnikov (pilot) and Vadim Choroshkov (copilot) set several records in March 1991, pushing their An-12 to 584km/h speed:

Those records remained untouched for 8 years, until until C-130J beat them.

An-12 was built in Irkutsk (155 aircraft in 1958 ... 1963), Voronezh (258 aircraft in 1961... 1965, and Tashkent (830 aircraft in 1961... 1972). Many sources mention Kiev, but this seems to be an error. Total 1400 (900?) wee built, with approximately 600 serving with Military Transport Aviation.

An-12B - civil variant with gun position replaced by a fairing. It flew first time in 1961. Broad-chord Vee-bottomed skis (equipped with breaks and heating) were tested on An-12PL (Polyarnyj-Lyzhnyj, Polar-Ski) in 1966... 1967. Those skis became a standard for all Arctic and Antarctic An-12s.

An-12BP photographed by Per Olufsen at Amsterdam-Schiphol Int. Airport

Several variants of ECM/EW variants were seen around. They differ by number an location of antenna fairings and blade-aerials, varying from 'carrot-type' fairings on the wing tips and tailfin to large ogival compartment proturbing from the (former) tail turret. An-12 was seen over Baltic Sea fitted (for Anti-Submarine role) with nose and tail sensors arrays similar to those on Be-12. One of most radical modification received NATO designation 'Cub-C' features number of additional air scoops and heat exchanger outlets. Internal electronic equipment is palletized, and may be used in number of configurations. There have been suggestions that these 'stand-off' jamming platforms had a primary role of neutralizing NATO air defence and surface-to-air missile radars.

The 'Cub-D' is a second ECM platform, with a different equipment fit and characterized by huge external pods on the lower 'corners' of the forward fuselage and on each side of the base of the tailfin.

One An-12 was converted into flying command center. Some sources suggest that it was used during the Indo-Pakistan war, but details of its appearance are unavailable. One Egyptian 'Cub' flew with its port inner engine replaced by a Helwan E-300 turbojet, developed for a stillborn indigenous fighter.

An-12 was used by Angola, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, CIS, Czech Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Jordan, Malajzia, People's Republic of China (Y-12), Poland, Slovakia, South Yemen, Sri Lanka, Syria (Y-12), Yugoslavia. Now operation field of An-12 shifts from military to cargo operations (due to competition from newer planes like Il-76). For example, Polish military An-12 have been retired and India put its An-12 fleet on sale.

China builds An-12 variant with reversible engines (without license) as Yunshuji 8 (Transport aircraft number 8) variants since 1974 (first prototype flown on December 24). Variants include initial production Y-8, helicopter carrier Y-8A, civilian passenger/freighter Y-8B, (suspended) project Y-8C with fully-pressurized fuselage, drone carrier Y-8E (two drones can be carried on trapezes under the wings). Dedicated military export version Y-8D is believed to be converted into bomber by Sri Lanka. Y-8F is a uniquely Chinese aircraft, a dedicated livestock carrier with cages for 350 goats or sheep. Number of other civil and military Y-8s are under development (tanker, AEW, ...).

An-12s participated in number of both military conflicts and humanitarian operations.

24k and 27k "Moscow Airways" An-12 at Sheremeteyvo-I, photos by Paul Nann; Small GIF of An-12

Predecessors Transport Variants ECM Variants Special Developments

An-12A (fuel 16600l) An-12B (fuel 19500l) An-12BK for unpaved runways An-12BK-PPS (Cub-D) An-12BP 'Tsyclon' meteorological platform

An-12P An-12AP An-12BP An-12PP An-12PS SAR aircraft Y-8 (China)
  • "Russian aircraft since 1940" by Jean Alexander, p.35...37;
  • "Russia's Top Guns" p.7...9;
  • Links
  • An-12
  • An-12 cargo plane
  • An-12, Antonov 'Cub'
  • An-12 at 'Aeroflot'
  • An-12 at Virtual Aircraft Museum
  • An-12 at Mirny Aeroclub
  • AN-12 Cub
  • AN-12 Cub-B
  • Antonov An-12 'Cub'
  • The Antonov An-12 at Newcastle Airport
  • Antonov-12
  • Antonov-12
  • An-12
  • Antonov An-12 Cub by Stefano Caporelli
  • Virtual Aviation Museum
  • ... at Knowledge Adventure
  • An-12
  • ... at General Dennis J. Reimer's Library
  • Newcastle Airport
  • US Army Air Defence Artillery School
  • AirRep group of companies
  • Kiwi Aircraft Images
  • Aviation Encyclopedia
  • Jet Executive
  • ... at Aerospace publishing Ltd and AIRtime Rublishing Inc
  • ... at Volga-Dnepr Airlines
  • Cockpit details
  • Antonov aircraft
  • ... at North American Special Operations Group
  • ... at Pawan's IAF page

  • Modified January 25, 2000 Back to
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