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PZL M.28 Skytruck (An-28)

Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) Transport Aircraft


The PZL M.28 Skytruck has proven itself a modest success on the world market.

Detailing the development and operational history of the PZL M.28 Skytruck (An-28) Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) Transport Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 9/13/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
In 1986, Ukrainian aircraft concern Antonov (then part of the Soviet Union) introduced to market the Antonov An-28, a light-class, twin-engined turboprop transport aircraft. One-hundred ninety-one were ultimately built in four major versions and both civilian and military operators took notice - from Armenia and Angola to the Venezuela and Vietnam. Among the list of operators became Poland and the country eventually took on local, licensed production of the series which led to a locally-refined model as the M.28 "Skytruck" by PZL Mielec.

The original Antonov An-28 was recorded a first-flight on July 22nd, 1984 and early production models still carried 2 x PZL-10S turboprop engines (the TVD-10B series under license) driving three-bladed propeller units as well as the An-28 designation.

At the core of the An.28's success was its high-wing arrangement which added natural lifting properties and improved on short-field operations. A rugged understructure and reinforced undercarriage also gave good rough-field operation. Beyond this, the An.28 was given a relatively compact footprint as transports go and held a deep fuselage with raised empennage to facilitate cargo movement into, out of, and around the aircraft. It was these qualities that have allowed the aircraft to continually find favor with civilian and military groups including special forces outfits around the world.

In addition to the stated, the aircraft also sported excellent handling and a rear cargo door allows for unfettered access to the hold within the fuselage. The interior could also be converted to suit various roles including passenger hauling. An anti-stall feature was also built-in.

After the fall of the Soviet Empire in 1991, PZL was free to maximum the An-28 for Western customers and took to installing a Western avionics fit, Western instrumentation and Pratt & Whitney Canada turboprop engines. The aircraft now flew with 2 x PT6A-65B engines of 1,100 horsepower and these drove five-bladed Hartzell propeller units. It is in this guise that the An-28 became the PZL M.28 "Skytruck" and achieved a first-flight on July 24th, 1993. Certification followed in March of 1996.

The M.28 seats a crew of two and can fit an additional nineteen passengers with a properly-equipped cabin. Its payload capability is 5,070lb. Overall length of the aircraft is 42.11 feet with a wingspan of 72.4 feet and a height of 16 feet. Empty weight is 9,310lb against an MTOW of 16,535lb. Power is from 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65B turboprop engines rated at 1,100 horsepower each. Performance specs include a maximum speed of 220 miles per hour, a cruise speed of 170 mph, a range out to 930 miles and a service ceiling up to 25,000 feet. Rate-of-climb is 2,165 feet-per-minute.

The modern Polish Air Force and Navy services use a militarized form of the M.28 as the M.28B "Bryza" ("Sea Breeze"). These fly with 2 x PZL-10S series engines. Other Polish variants include the An.28TD basic transport, the M.28B improved model, the M.28B Bryza 1R maritime patroller, the M.28B Bryza 1E maritime ecological reconnaissance patroller, the M.28B Bryza 1RM bis maritime patroller (with submarine hunting functionality) and the M.28 05 Skytruck for the maritime patrol and Search and Rescue (SAR) roles.

The United States Air Force (Special Operations Warfare Center) is perhaps the most notable foreign Skytruck operator and fields their fleet (of sixteen aircraft) with 2 x Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65B turboprop engines. The type, designated locally as the "C-145A", is used in special mission roles but the line is being phased out as of this writing (some eleven are in storage as of 2017). C-145As has operated in the Afghanistan Theater of War.

The M.28+ "Skytruck Plus" is a proposed, extended fuselage model which has not been adopted.

Program Updates

September 2018 - PZL Mielec, owned by Sikorsky (which in turn is owned by Lockheed Martin), delivered a single M.28 aircraft to the Ecuadorian Army.


YEAR: 1993
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): PZL Mielec - Poland / Sikorsky (Lockheed Martin) - USA / Antonov - Ukraine
LENGTH: 42.98 ft (13.1 m)
WIDTH: 72.34 ft (22.05 m)
HEIGHT: 16.08 ft (4.9 m)
EMPTY WEIGHT: 9,039 lb (4,100 kg)
MTOW: 16,535 lb (7,500 kg)
POWER: 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65B turboprop engines developing 1,100 horsepower each and driving five-bladed propeller units.
SPEED: 221 mph (355 kph; 192 kts)
CEILING: 25,000 feet (7,620 m; 4.73 miles)
RANGE: 932 miles (1,500 km; 810 nm)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 2,165 ft/min (660 m/min)
OPERATORS: Guyana; Indonesia; Jordan; Nepal; Poland; Suriname; United States; Venezuela; Vietnam

Variants / Models

• M.28 Skytruck - Base Series Designation
• An-28 - Original license-production Antonov aircraft by PZL; PZL-10S engines.
• An-28TD - Base military transport variant
• M.28B - Improved military transport
• M.28B Bryza - Military transport
• M.28B Bryza 1R - Maritime patroller and reconnaissance.
• M.28B Bryza 1E - Maritime patroller and reconnaissance.
• M.28B bryza 1RM bis - Maritime patroller and reconnaissance with submarine hunting equipment.
• M.28.05 Skytruck - Maritime patroller with Search and Rescue capability.
• M.28+ Skytruck Plus - Proposed lengthened fuselage form.
• C-145A - USAF special forces variant

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (221mph).

Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the PZL M.28 Skytruck's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (176)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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