UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!



The AN-30 aerial photographer was developed on a basis of the AN-24 passenger airplane. It is the first in the history of domestic aviation building machine designed with the only purpose – to perform aerial photography. From basis version it differs with the navigator’s nose glass cock-pit and photo-doors in the floor of the cabin. It has 9 modifications. It can be used in a cargo version.

The An-30 (Clank) by Antonov is a development of An-24RT. In 1964, OKB-49 was tasked to create based on passenger airliner An-24 aircraft for aerial photography An-24FK. Aircraft was created by Decree # 565-235 USSR Council of 6 July 1964 and was replaced in that role 2FK Lee, Il-14FK and IL-14FKM. Initially the machine was developed in two versions: "A" for civil aviation and "B" for the Air Force, but later came to the unified arrangement, with differences only in the composition of photographic equipment and special equipment.

In 1965, preliminary design was completed, and from 12 to 16 July 1965 passed the mock-up committee. On August 25, 1967 the first flight of the An-24FK/AN-30 was performed from “Taganrog zavodskoi” airfield. The first flight of the held August 21, 1967. OKB pilot production by the summer 1967 version of the An-24FK (product "FC") under the direction of chief designer VV Volkov was converted serial An-24 (serial number 57302003).

In July 1968, the joint factory flight testing of the "A" in Taganrog, in flight test base Antonov Design Bureau in Gostomele (near Kiev) and one of the Central Asian airfields. From December 1968 to September 1969 the state passed flight tests in the form "B". A total of 45 operations, are the embodiment of "A" - 32 of flight of Embodiment "B" - 13 flights. By plane test pilots flew YN Curlin, YN Kets BV Stepanov, VA Zalyubovskii, navigator test GN Gumenuk, radio operator YS PRSPs, chief engineer BM YUSHKOV.

According to test results, it was noted that the aircraft has significant advantages over IL-14FK and FCM. In particular, it can perform aerial photography in mountain areas, has better performance due to the high speed flight, improved working conditions of the crew by placing it in a sealed cabin and especially the navigator-air photographer, whose jobs are now housed in a glazed nose of the aircraft. Availability Doppler drift angle and ground speed provides more accurate navigated.

The aircraft is an all-metal cantilever monoplane with a high wing and vertical tail with ventral crest. The crew includes aircraft commander, copilot, navigator, air photographer, radio operator, mechanic, two flight operator.

Options "A" and "B" of the AN-30 differed only by the presence on board option "B" camera AFA-54/50, girostabiliziruyuschey installation TAU-M, altimeter RV-25A, elektrometeorografa and navigation system "Lotus". The rest of the equipment was similar.

The An-24FK different from passenger aircraft primarily reversed the forward fuselage to the frame number 11. It expanded and glazed to improve visibility navigator. At the bottom of the fuselage between frames number number 21 - 30 were equipped with five glazed windows and between frames number number 31 - 33 equipped unpressurized compartment blocks Diss-FC. Changes has equipment of aircraft, radar "Shock" and passenger equipment dismantled in the center section installed additional fuel tanks installed ventral fairing, trunk lid was removed, and its opening stitched tightly. The crew now consisted of seven people: two pilots, a navigator-air photographer, radio operator, mechanic and two operators.

Significant disadvantages for customers was that it carried small, in their opinion, a full fuel load - 4960 kg (the requirement to increase it to 5500 - 6000 kg rose at the stage of consideration of the layout), and other observations related to special and aerial apparatus and equipment jobs (ranging from insufficient ventilation darkroom to reload cassettes and finishing lack ashtrays workplace navigator).

The main identification feature is the nose, which has been completely redesigned, with glazing and a built-in navigator´s compartment. The inner space of the fuselage has also been remodelled. Its floor area has removable cover plates over apertures for photogrammetrical cameras for vertical, panoramic and lateral photographing. A dark room for handling the films and their storage is provided. The sensor apertures in the underside and in both sides of the rear fuselage are covered by remotely-controlled doors. During flight, cameras are operated by two photographers.

The An-30 can also be equipped with a variety of other devices, including magnetometer and microwave radiometer for long-distance surveys. They can be used to evaluate various situations on the surface, ice or snow cover, development of vegetation etc. for civilian purposes. The devices can be installed in fixed or gyro-stabilised mountings. A navigation computer closely co-operates with the terminal of the NAVSTAR/GPS satellite navigation system, which enables an extremely accurate automatic navigation of the aircraft along the pre-programmed course, at given altitude and speed, including guidance to the point of departure of the photographing. The pressurised cabin permits to fly at high levels. The avionics includes fairly modern navigation and communication devices, an ADF automatic radio direction finder, DME distance measuring system, marker and ILS/GS instrument landing system, and a radio altimeter. The avionics and instrumentation enable all-weather operation and safe landing.

With the participation of designers OKB Beriev aircraft An-24FK was launched in a series under the designation of An-30 at the Kiev Aviation Plant in 1971. In total from 1971 to 1980. A total of 115 were built, 66 of them - in the form of An-30A for MGA, 26 An-30B for the Air Force and 23 - to export (they were delivered to Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Vietnam, China, Cuba, Romania, Mongolia and Czechoslovakia). The individual AN-30 still present work in Air Forces of the several countries. [other accounts relate that from 1973 to 1980, a total of 123 units were produced and some 24 aircraft were exported to 7 countries of the world]

Already in November 1981, An-30B were in Afghanistan. The planes were a part of 50 separate mixed Aviation Regiment (osap), based in Kabul. Number of An-30B in its composition varied between 2 - 3 aircraft, with crews detached from all three squadrons in rotation. The first task performed by the crew 86 odrae from Chernivtsi, aerial parts of Afghanistan in April-June 1982, although the term was (since there were no reliable maps of the country), but at the same time quite common. Afghanistan confirmed the ability of the aircraft to operate in the mountains. Turning radius of 500 - 300 m (with flaps issued in the landing position, and roll 45 - 60 °), allows you to choose from even deadlock gorges. Twice - in 1986 and 1987. one of the An-30B from the 50 osap worked on another battlefield of the war - in Angola. These "tour" the plane went repainted for conspiracy in the color of "Aeroflot" (state registration with the USSR-27205).

At the end of 1994 one of the aircraft started another war - the first Chechen. In August 1999, immediately after the invasion of militants in Dagestan Shamil Basayev, An-30B together with the Su-24MR reconnaissance started to keep providing intelligence unit assault and tactical bombers, as well as parts of the Ministry of Defence and the Interior Troops. Since the autumn of 1999 An-30B took an active part in Chechnya anti-terror operation, conducting aerial reconnaissance in the interests of the joint group of Russian troops.


One task performed by An-30B aircraft in service with Russian and Ukrainian Air Force was inspection flights to monitor military activities under the 1992 "Open Skies" treaty. The Treaty on Open Skies establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. It was signed in March 1992 and became one of the major confidence-building measures in Europe after the Cold War. It entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 members, including Russia and the majority of the NATO countries.

Russian inspectors were scheduled to perform an observation flight on board the An-30B plane over the Turkish territory within the framework of the Open Skies Treaty on 1-5 February 2016. "The itinerary included the observation of areas adjacent to the Turkish border with Syria, as well as airfields that host NATO warplanes. However, after the arrival of the Russian mission to Turkey and the announcement of the desired itinerary, the Turkish military officials refused to allow the inspection flight citing an order from the Turkish Foreign Ministry," head of the ministry’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center Sergey Ryzhkov said in a statement. Ryzhkov called the Turkish move "a dangerous precedent of uncontrolled military activity carried out by a member of the Open Skies Treaty.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 03-03-2016 16:15:30 ZULU