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Antonov An-10 Cat

Antonov An-10 is noteworthy in that it predetermined the appearance of wide-body aircraft. The similar An-12 flies to this day. And about the An-10, many already do not remember, even more people have never heard of it. The plane appeared in a very timely fashion, flew for 15 years, did a lot of work, and left almost as quickly as it appeared.

Although the design from series to series was improved, the problems associated with "childhood diseases" were felt. Even the originally planned number of An-10's, 215 pieces, was never released. They built only 108 units (from 1957 to 1960). In 1960 the An-10 was the first aircraft in the world to fly a four-engine aircraft with only one working engine. After several cataclysmic in-flight failures in which the wings fell off, in 1972 Aeroflot withdrew the airliners from service due to insufficient fatigue strength of the wing panels. No An-10/10A were exported.

Each aircraft, when it was created and rose into the air, has its own particular destiny. She, like a person, can be happy or vice versa. And all of his flying life can also be filled, interesting and very long, or it can develop in such a way that it becomes very short and involves all sorts of failures. Lucky examples are many. However, not all life is so well formed. In the history of aviation, there were many aircraft with an unhappy fate. One such aircraft is the passenger An-10, whose relatively short flight life was interrupted suddenly and under tragic circumstances.

The civilian An-10 was a four-engine turboprop commercial freight and passenger transport. Powered by four 4015 shp Ivchenko AI-20 turboprops, it could carry up to 130 passengers. The An-8s formed the basis for the stretched, four engined An-10 airliner for Aeroflot. Design of the An-10 airliner began in November 1955 and the prototype (named Ukraina) first flew in March 1957.

The An-12 aircraft is a military development of the An-10. Entering service in 1959, the An-10 in turn formed the basis for the An-12, the main differences between the two being the latter's more upswept rear fuselage and rear loading ramp. The Antonov An-12 is the Soviet equivalent to the American C-130 Hercules. The first An-12 prototype flew in March of 1957, the same month as the An-10 prototype, which indicated the close relationship between the aircraft. Subsequently more than 500 An-10/10A are believed to have been built.

During 1959, Aeroflot introduced two new types of turboprop airliner: the An-10, a high-wing four-engined airliner, and the 11-18, a sleek-looking low-wing four-engined turbo-prop (the same name but a different type to the earlier piston-engined aircraft). Both types gradually replaced hundreds of ll-12s, ll-14s and Li-2s which were relegated to routes within its base directorates.

In operation, the capacity was brought to 118 seats. From aircraft of a similar type, it was not very demanding for airfields. It is noteworthy for the high degree of unification with the cargo variant (An-12 aircraft). The generality of structural elements reached 86%. It has modifications: An-10A - passenger 132 local version and An-10T - transport, with wooden decking.

The An-10 replaced Lie-2 and Il-14 and flew practically from the same airfields as these aircraft, thereby making a big contribution to the development of civil air traffic in the Soviet Union. Standing among the old aircraft in some peripheral airport An-10 always attracted attention both with its unusual appearance and coloring (the red band along the portholes).

In 1958, at the World Exhibition in Brussels, the aircraft was awarded a diploma and a large gold medal. In 1959, three AN-10s took part in an air parade in Tushino, dedicated to the Day of the Air Fleet of the USSR. The first technical flight on the route Kiev-Moscow-Tbilisi-Adler-Kharkov-Kiev was carried out on April 27, 1959. On July 21-22, the first passenger flight on the Kiev-Moscow-Simferopol line took place. From this flight, the regular operation of the liner on Aeroflot air lines began.

On December 17, 1959 AN-10 made the first flight over the ocean. In the USA, 44 seedlings of trees and bushes growing in the USSR were transported, as a gift to US President D. Eisenhower from NS. Khrushchev.

The An-10 was the initial version with accommodation for 84 passengers and a 'play-room' for children at the rear. The An-10A developed version had a 2m longer fuselage and accommodated 100 to 130 passengers. It entered service in February 1960. An-10A also operated on skis in the far north of the Soviet Union.

Into 1966, Aeroflot laid the foundation for its eighth five-year plan with emphasis on transporting 70 million passengers, improved utilisation with the An-10/12, 11-18 and Tu-104 airliners and introducing three new airliners and three new helicopters.

An-10 was produced serially at the Voronezh aircraft plant, which from February 1957 to 1960 produced 120 aircraft. Despite continuing problems, the AN-10 continued its active flying life. In general, it was a unique aircraft for its time and at the right time, which, as already mentioned, made a very large contribution to the development of civilian passenger and freight traffic. By the beginning of the 1970s, it became the most cost-effective Aeroflot aircraft , which held first place in terms of passenger turnover. By the end of the winter of 1972, the An-10 had transported almost 39 million passengers and 1.25 million tons of various cargoes.




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