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Antonov An-72 / An-74 (Coaler)

Tactical Medium Military Transport Aircraft

Antonov An-72 / An-74 (Coaler)

Tactical Medium Military Transport Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Antonov An-72 Coaler proved to be a successful design despite its unconventional arrangement - resulting in good maneuverability at low altitudes as well as inherent STOL capabilities.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Soviet Union
YEAR: 1986
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Antonov Design Bureau - Soviet Union
PRODUCTION: 195
OPERATORS: Angola; Armenia; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Estonia; France; Georgia; Kazakhstan; Iran; Laos; Libya; Moldova; Peru; Russia; Soviet Union; Sudan; Ukraine
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Antonov An-72 (Coaler-C) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 3
LENGTH: 94.16 feet (28.7 meters)
WIDTH: 104.66 feet (31.9 meters)
HEIGHT: 28.38 feet (8.65 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 41,998 pounds (19,050 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 76,059 pounds (34,500 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Lotarev D-36 turbofan engines developing 14,330 lb of thrust each.
SPEED (MAX): 438 miles-per-hour (705 kilometers-per-hour; 381 knots)
RANGE: 497 miles (800 kilometers; 432 nautical miles)
CEILING: 38,173 feet (11,635 meters; 7.23 miles)




ARMAMENT



Typically None but, if equipped, can include any of the following (An-72P model):

1 x 23mm gun pod.
2 x UB-23M rocket launcher system.
4 x 220lb internally-held conventional drop bombs.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• An-72 ('Coaler-A') - Base Series Designation
• An-72A ('Coaler-C') - Base Production Model Designation
• An-72AT ('Coaler-C') - International Cargo Specialized Variant.
• An-72S ('Coaler-C') - VIP Passenger Transport
• An-72P - Maritime Patrol Variant; fitted with 23mm cannon, 4 x internal bombs, specialized tracking equipment and rocket pods.
• An-71 "Madcap" - Airborne Early Warning And Control platform (AWACs); only three prototypes completed before cancellation; 2 x Progress D-436K turbofan engines.
• An-74 - Improved "Coaler"; specialized for extreme cold operation; uprated engines; improved avionics system.
• An-74A - Enlarged Nose Radome
• An-74D - Variant
• An-74T - Freighter Variant
• An-74TK - Convertible Passenger/Cargo Variant
• An-74MP - Maritime Patrol Version
• An-74P "Salon" - VIP Transport Variant
• An-74-100 - An-74TK with navigation station added.
• An-74-200 - An-74TK with reduced flight crew (2).
• An-74TK-200C - An-74TK-200 cargo variant.
• An-74T-200 - Military transport
• An-74T-200A - Military transport
• An-74-400 - Proposed "Stretched" Transport Variant.
• An-74TK-300 - D-436 turbofan engines in conventional underwing mounting.
• An-75 - Proposed modified version of the An-71 prototypes for use aboard Soviet carriers.
• An-174 - "Stretched" Transport/Passenger Variant.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Antonov An-72 / An-74 (Coaler) Tactical Medium Military Transport Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/22/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Because of the sheer size of the Soviet military during the Cold War era (1947-1991), its various services required various transport types to move man, machines and supplies about. The Antonov An-72 (NATO codename of "Coaler") became a product of the period, intended for the logistically-minded tactical transport role. The rather unique aircraft incorporated turbofan engines over the shoulder-mounted wings which made for maximum clearance of the jet wash and promoted excellent inherent lifting properties. The An-72 was eventually adopted as a successor to the aging Antonov An-26 "Curl" transport family (detailed elsewhere on this site) and would go on to see service with various Soviet states and allied nations around the globe.

First flying in December of 1977 (in prototype form of which two would be built), actual production models were not available until the mid-1980s and, even then, these were highly-modified from their original presented forms. The An-72 was designed with Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) in mind so robustness and reliability were key qualities but an natural capability became excellent maneuverability despite the size of the aircraft. The high-mounted engines were purposefully placed so the engine exhaust could feed over trailing edge wing devices, effectively increasing low-level performance.

The An-72 ("Coaler-A") platform went on to spawn other variants that included the maritime surveillance-minded An-72P (Patrol), the An-71 "Madcap" AEW (Airborne Early Warning) aircraft and the An-74 "Improved Coaler", the latter with upgraded engines and a more traditional/conventional engine mounting. The An-72P was developed in conjunction with Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) and featured a revised "glass" cockpit, specialized Elta-brand radar, and an Electronic Warfare (EW) fit as well as long-range day-or-night observation equipment and related systems/subsystems. It also held provision for rocket and bombs and was armed through a single 23mm GSh-23L series autocannon. The An-72AT was a dedicated transport developed to accommodate foreign shipping containers. The An-72S became a VIP transport and could be used in the MEDEVAC role when configured as such.

About 195 of the series were built under the An-72 and An-74 guises and production has spanning from 1977 to the present. The An-74 was developed (and produced in parallel to the An-72) along the lines of cold weather support and operated through a crew of five, added more fuel storage and installed a larger radar. It was introduced in 1983.

Another notable offshoot, the An-71, emerged in 1985 through a first-flight on July 12th. Only three prototypes of this mark were produced and the variant's program was ultimately cancelled. The version was intended for the Tactical AWACS (Airborne Early Warning And Control = AEW&C) role and carried a dish installation over the rear fuselage.

Current (2017) military operators of the Coaler family line include Equatorial Guinea, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. The type also sees service in the civilian sector with various operators worldwide. Several have already given up on the series for more modern designs.

As designed, the An-72 featured a length of 92 feet, a wingspan of 104.7 feet and a height of 28.4 feet. Empty weight was 42,000lb against an MTOW of 76,060lb. Power was served from 2 x Lotarev D-36 1A turbofan engines developing upwards of 14,330lb of thrust (each) and maximum speed reached 435 miles-per-hour with a cruising speed of around 375 mph. Range was listed out to 2,690 miles.

The An-72/An-74 series eventually took on the nickname of "Cheburashka", a Soviet cartoon character, owing to its large over-wing engines resembling the character's large ears.




MEDIA









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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (438mph).

    Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
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  TKY
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  SYD
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  LAX
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Antonov An-72 (Coaler-C)'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 Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
195
195

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
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.