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Antonov An-10 Cat - Origins

The second half of the 1950s was the era of Khrushchev's acceleration. The Twentieth Congress of the CPSU, the course to meet the growing needs of working people, etc. Such were the aspirations and the general mood of the people. Aviation, especially civil, as an integral part of the national economy, certainly did not stand aside.

The Congress determined to increase passenger transportation by 3.8 times and, of course, as always, in the shortest possible time. And the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR in 1955 entrusted the main design bureau, traditionally engaged in the creation of large aircraft (Ilyushin, Tupolev), as well as Antonov Design Bureau, to develop large trunk liners equipped with gas turbine engines. This was actual, because it became clear that existing aircraft with piston engines could no longer cope with the growing freight and passenger traffic.

And on the part of the top management, it sounded the idea that it would be nice to make a universal airplane for the national economy , which can be used both in passenger and cargo versions (primarily as a military transport aircraft). Universality would save a lot of money that could be used to develop other sectors of the national economy.

The Antonov KB was by that time still quite young, but, as they say, on the rise. In addition, after successful implementation of the An-2 used, in a sense, the support of NS Khrushchev. The idea of a universal airplane was actually the idea of Antonov, and he introduced it to NS Khrushchev in terms of significant savings in public funds.

Antonov promoted the idea of a cheap and unpretentious aircraft, which would be undemanding to the quality of coverage on airfields. After all, the growing passenger traffic demanded an intensive passenger traffic not only between large (that is, the capital or republican - 500 to 2,000 km) airfields, but also less significant regional and intraregional ones.

Existing piston aircraft could not effectively cope with such a task, and the TU-104, then being put into operation, required an airfield cover of a certain quality. At that time in the USSR there were only a few airports that could accept it. This fact was also emphasized when creating a new aircraft.

This economic approach was very much liked by NS Khrushchev, and the very idea was just voiced by him in the summer of 1955. In autumn the government issued a decree on the creation in Antonov Design Bureau of a new passenger aircraft with 4 turboprop engines. The project was named "product U", that is, "universal".

It was also intended to use existing developments of the Design Bureau on the newly created military transport aircraft An-8 . Since 1954, the design bureau already existed a passenger airplane based on An-8 ( product H ), the most unpretentious and inexpensive aircraft with the concept of cheap tickets and undemanding airfields.

The project "U" was later named An-10. After the beginning of the design of the An-10, the work under the version "N" was rolled up in order to direct all the released resources to a new project.

Initially the An-10 was named "Ukraine" (as was the Il-18 named "Moscow"), which was even put on board the first flight copies. However, in the future this initiative was stopped, according to some rumors, based on ideological considerations of the top leadership of the state.

The first experimental aircraft was built at the aviation plant in Kiev, the very place where the large-scale production of the An-2 (now the Serial Plant "Antonov" ) began, and in March 1957 it first ascended to the sky. Factory tests of this specimen were completed by June 1958 and already in January 1959, he began his State tests.

The AN-10 was created in accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on November 30, 1955. Already at the design stage, the possibility of replacing the tail section of a passenger aircraft with a "military" one, that is, a fuselage structure that would allow loading and unloading on land and landing in the air, the equipment and armament of the Airborne Forces (see AN-12). The work on the An-10 was led by E.K. Senchuk, N.S. Trunchenkov, A.M. Kondratev under the leadership of Chief Designer A.Ya. Of Belolipetsk.

Design and construction of the aircraft lasted only 15 months. The first flight of an experimental vehicle (the crew, headed by test pilot Ya.I.Bernikov) was held on March 7, 1957 in Kiev. The aircraft was called "Ukraine" and the registration number of the USSR - U1957. The second pilot and simultaneously the first serial An-10 (- 01-01) with the AI-20 TVD was first raised in the air by the test pilot OKB I.E. Davydov November 5, 1957 in Voronezh. Factory tests were carried out until June 1958, state tests from January to June 1959. Serially An-10 was produced until December 1959.

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