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Kiev Engineering Plant after O.K. Antonov

Kiev Engineering Plant after Antonov was originated as Design Bureau (DB)-153, which was earlier found in 1946 on the bases of Novosibirsk Yakovlev Aviation plant branch. The DB was headed by O.K.Antonov. In 1952 it was transferred into Kiev and in 1966 was renamed as Kiev Engineering Plant.

The DB development began on 1940 with the first development of the multipurpose An-2 by Antonov. However it was the next airplane the An-8 that predetermined the main orientation of the DB: development of the specialized transport airplanes for transportation and dropping of the bulk cargoes and technique as well as dropping of the paratroops. Soon after creation of the An-8, the works on the transport An-10 and its combat-transport modification of the An-12 with four turboprop engines began. The task of creation of four-engine airplanes of different purposes on the one and the same basis, differing only in the rear part of the fuselage and equipment was being solved. The diameter that was accepted was of 4.1m that was rather large. It provided comfortable accommodation of 100 passengers and cargo compartment contained military and engineering technique.

On March 6, 1946, an order for the Ministry of Aviation Industry (MAP) of the USSR established the OKB for civil and transport aircraft, the main designer of which was OK Antonov. On May 31, 1946 the Resolution of TsK the AUCP(B) and Council of Ministers of the USSR approved the decree of the board on foundation of a Design Bureau (OKB-153) at Novosibirsk aviation plant and appointment Oleg Konstantinovich Antonov Chief Designer of this Design Bureau (DB). The same decree set a problem to the DB to develop a CX-1 (AN-2) agriculture aircraft.

The OKB began with the development of an agricultural aircraft SCA-1, later named An-2. After the first flight of An-2 on August 31, 1947, during the period of its introduction into batch production, the number of OKBs was reduced three-fold, which sharply complicated the conditions of its operation. Despite this, the OKB initiated the development of a reserve of promising aircraft designs of various types and purposes: jet fighters, unmanned trailers and special transport aircraft. Besides this aircraft and its modifications, the A-9 and A-10 gliders were designed and built in a small lot at experimental production facilities.

From 1938 to 1949, except for nine months in 1947, Nikita Khrushchev was first secretary of the CC CP(B)U [Communits Party of Ukraine]. He presided over the forced introduction of Russian into Ukrainian schools, and the final year of the bloody purges known as the Yezhov terror, in which thousands of Ukrainians, including Party members, were executed or imprisoned. After the war his primary task was to restore agricultural production in Ukraine and to rebuild its industry as quickly as possible. On March 12, 1947, at a meeting of the Ukraine Central Committee meeting, Khrushchev had admitted agricultural shortcomings, but blamed them on his Minister of Agriculture.

In 1947, Nikita Khrushchev personally persuaded Oleg Konstantinovich to move from Novosibirsk to Kiev and promised support in organizing the OKB in a new location. Not without hesitation Antonov accepted this proposal. So, on the initiative of Khrushchev in the territory of the Ukrainian SSR, a KB was created that went down in the history of world aircraft construction.

In March 1947, Nikita Khrushchev, who had been appointed First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) in 1938, was suddenly dismissed from his post on Stalins orders. Khrushchev's failure to collectivize Ukranian farms led Stalin to demote him, but in December 1947 he was again elected first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party(Bolshevik) of the Ukraine. Stalin called him back to Moscow two years later to lead the Moscow City Party.

In the summer of 1952, the OKB moved to Kiev. Here O. Antonov almost all over again had to form a team of design bureau. It was lacking of specialists, rooms and shop facilities to fulfil the task like this. Early 1954, the collective gave an employment to the first group of graduates from Kharkov aviation institute and aviation specialists from Kiev, Moscow, Leningrad and other cities.

At the end of 1953, the enterprise received a complex task to create a military transport aircraft with two turboprop engines. For its implementation, there was a lack of specialists, premises, equipment. In the beginning of 1954 the collective accepted the first group of graduates of the Kharkov Aviation Institute, and also replenished with aviation specialists from Kiev, Moscow, Leningrad and other cities. The task was fulfilled - the An-8 aircraft took off on February 11, 1956.

The DB started developing an AN-10 and AN-12 aircraft in 1955. The AN-10 airplane flight tests were begun on March 7, 1957. On December 16, the same year, the AN-12 transport performed its maiden flight at Irkutsk aviation plant. In 1962 the creators of the AN-12 airplane were awarded with the Lenin Prize and O.K. Antonov was given the rank of General Designer. Simultaneously with the AN-8, AN-10 and AN-12 aircraft creation, the DB developed a series of A-11, A-13 and A-15 full-metal gliders and a item A-13M motorised glider. In 1956, according to the task set by the Government of the USSR, the collective started designing an AN-14 aircraft gently named as Pchelca later on. The aircraft performed its maiden flight on March 14, 1958. This airplane was serially produced by Arsenyev aviation plant.

Building of a Flight and Test base was started in Gostomel village near Kiev in 1959. For 30-year period the ASTC's specialists had created a complex of facilities comparable with the leading Flight Centres of the European countries as far as equipment and capabilities are concerned.

An AN-24 passenger aircraft had been developed within 1957-1959 period. The airplane made its maiden flight on October 20, 1959. The airplane had been performing up to 30% of passenger carries in the Soviet Union within the following decades. This exceptionally successful aircraft became the basis for such derivatives as an AN-26 freighter, AN-30 aerial photography airplane, AN-32 high-mountain aircraft, etc. Late 1960, the DB started developing an AN-22 Antei airplane - world first wide-body aircraft predestined a new stage in the aircraft-building industry. As for its dimensions the AN-22 aircraft exceeded everything made by the aircraft industry before, and required a huge volume of experimental work to be performed and a number of design and technological problems to be solved. The Antei made its maiden flight on February 27, 1965. The aircraft was in series production at Tashkent aviation plant.

Early 1970s, developing the ideas used while creating the AN-14 airplane, the collective of ANTONOV ASTC designed and built an AN-28 multipurpose aircraft which accommodated 17 passengers. The airplane performed its maiden flight on January 29, 1973. The AN-28 aircraft was serially produced in Meletsc (Poland).

In 1970s, the DB' staff changed the direction of its activity and started creating transport aircraft powered with two turbofan engines designed by a DB named after V.A. Lotarev. An AN-72 transport became the first aircraft powered with turbofan engines. The AN-72 aircraft performed its maiden flight on August 31, 1977. On its basis the Antonov's specialists developed an AN-74 aircraft to be operated under the Extreme North conditions. The airplane made its maiden flight on September 29, 1983. Series production is set at Kharkov State Aircraft Manufacturing Company (KSAMC). In its turn the AN-74 aircraft became the basis for the whole aircraft family of various purposes including convertible, executive, ambulance and passenger ones.

In 1976, specially for hot-and-high operations the Antonov's specialists developed an AN-32 transport as a new modification of the serially produced AN-26 airplane. The AN-32 airplanes gained a popularity among operators especially in India, Latin American and African countries. The DB's specialists began to develop an AN-124 Ruslan heavy long-range transport in 1971. In 1982 this airplane performed its maiden flight. Kiev, Tashkent and Ulyanovsk aviation plants took part in the AN-124 prototypes manufacture. On the AN-124 aircraft basis the Antonov's specialists developed and certified its civil version - an AN-124-100 aircraft intended for commercial cargo carriages.

On April 4, 1984 Oleg Konstantinovich Antonov died. On November 19, the DB was named after O.K. Antonov.

On May 15, 1984 Pyotr Vasilyevich Balabuyev was appointed General Designer. The enterprise started designing an AN-225 Mriya multipurpose superheavy transport intended to carry oversized assembled goods of up to 250 tonnes total weight including orbital spaceship of the Energia-Buran space-rocket system. The AN-225 aircraft had been designed and built within 3-year period. In December 1988, the airplane made its maiden flight. In May 1989, the AN-225 aircraft performed flights with Buran aboard at Baykonur base. In June, the aircraft with Buran aboard participated in Air Show in La Bourget. At present, the aircraft performs commercial transportations within an ANTONOV ASTC's air transport division.

This division was founded in 1989 after the enterprise had been authorised by the Government of the USSR to perform international commercial cargo deliveries by means of the AN-124 transport. Today, the transport division known as Antonov Airlines has been awarded with a legal status of National Cargo Operator of Ukraine. Antonov Airlines's crews and aircraft flight to the continents all over the world.

Having created the AN-225 aircraft the Antonov collective started designing an AN-70 medium short takeoff and landing transport aircraft. Its transport capabilities allow deliveries of almost the whole range of materiel and armament, as well as oversized civil engineering total of up to 47 tonnes to the short unequipped unpaved strips.

In 1991 Antonov Aviation Science and Engineering Complex was founded on the bases of the Kiev Engineering Plant. The complex was oriented for four main branches: creation of transport (cargo), multipurpose and passenger airplanes as well as gliders and hangliders.




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