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Military


Antonov An-10 Cat - Service

The An-10 entered service in July 1959 on routes from Simferopol to Moscow and Kiev. Inconveniences and unexpected features were revealed already in the early period of operation which displeased Aeroflot. In many respects this was expressed in the low level of serviceability of aircraft and the poor organization of ground operation (perhaps because of the novelty?). The so-called intensive use of aircraft at airports was difficult.

Practically at once the problem with temperature in passenger salons, causing the big discomfort was showed. In summer, in warm weather, in the process of landing passengers, taxiing or towing, despite the high volume of the salons, the temperature in them quickly rose above the permissible limit of 24C and later, after take-off, fell rather slowly. During the entire operation of the aircraft this problem was not solved, although all that was required for this was an APU installation with a turbogenerator which could feed the air-conditioning turbo-cooler while the aircraft was on the ground, while on An-12 such a unit stood as an auxiliary power unit.

The first thunder struck on November 16, 1959. When approaching the landing at the Lviv airport in severe weather conditions, the An-10 crashed. The aircraft dropped in the clouds in icing conditions. The crew was not able to cope with the unexpectedly arisen at low altitude dive. Everyone on board died. But just three months later on February 26, 1960, an An-10A crash took place at the Lviv airport. The accident happened almost in the same place, under the same atmospheric conditions and was accompanied by a similar behavior of the aircraft. It became clear that without precise installation of the reasons, the operation of the aircraft can not continue. This time, the An-10 flights were suspended. It turned out that other crews were already faced with the airplane's desire to enter into a dive in such conditions.

In order to continue operating throughout the park An-10 operational improvements were carried out. In early 1961, the number of passengers carried to the An-10 exceeded one million. As a result, the exploitation of the An-10 became more intense and, often, much more severe than that of its rivals. More and more cracks appeared on various elements, including on power. Cracks appeared on the wing skin in the tail part and in the centerplane, on the center-plate flaps, near the fuel tanks (which caused fuel leakage). Vertical racks of the chassis front support section cracked, the thresholds of manholes and doors were deformed.

In general, until May 1972, since the beginning of operation, that is, since the spring of 1958, 8 machines and 3 machines without loss of life were lost in disasters. Eleven aircraft of the same type for 14 years. The Tu-104 , which in a certain sense became a state symbol, during the same period of time proved to be the main participant in at least 16 heavy-lift accidents (with the loss of the aircraft), of which 12 are disasters. Il-18 during the same period suffered 16 disasters, in which 1,359 people died. In early 1968, based on the results of the leader tests, the service life of An-10 and An-10A aircraft was extended to 15,000 hours and 10,000 landings. At the same time, a condition was set for the reinforcement of the centerplane panels by carrying out modifications at the repair plants. The next (final) extension of the total aircraft lifetime to 20,000 flying hours and 12,000 landings took place in 1971 after the termination of the test operation of the leader aircraft and the thorough check and defect of the power elements of its design.

On March 31, 1971 another catastrophe of the An-10 aircraft took place . When approaching a landing near the airport of Voroshilovgrad (now Lugansk), the right wing console collapsed, resulting in the destruction of the hydraulic system components, the fusing of both right engines and the destruction of the right stabilizer console. Then followed a right roll with a turn, passing in the peak and collision with the ground. Officially, the causes of the disaster were not established, but among the working versions was the version of the fatigue failure of the wing panel in the riveted seam area. There was no confirmation of this, but the existence of serious problems with fatigue cracks on the An-10 was not denied by anyone.

On May 18, 1972 on the approach to the airport in Kharkov, the An-10A ( USSR-11215 ) aircraft was destroyed in the air. Both wings folded up, then completely broke off. The remaining fuselage, when dropped, also collapsed. As a result of the disaster, all who were on board were killed - 122 people (passengers and crew members).

In August 1972, the Government Commission, on the basis of all available investigation materials, decided to remove all An-10 and An-10A from operation on Aeroflot lines. By that time, part of the aircraft had already been written off for some reason or another. "In the living" there were 67 boards (at the beginning of 1973), 11 were in the Air Force and 3 aircraft remained on trial. It was decided that 40 of these 67 will be decommissioned and disposed of. 25 units were later transferred to the Ministry of Aviation Industry. They had to carry out cargo transportation after the carrying out of all necessary modifications of the structure to ensure the work of aviation plants.

However, these aircraft flew a little, improvements on many of them have not been carried out and by 1975 they no longer rose in the air. An-10 just stopped flying. At all



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