The Antonov An-26 was developed from the An-24 of 1962 for the airliner passenger / general transport role. First flight of the An-26 product was on May 21st, 1969 and production spanned from then until 1986 to which 1,403 examples were ultimately realized. A plethora of variants then emerged and operators have ranged the globe with many airframes still in active service today (2014).
The original An-24 proved a design that was robust for the most harshest of conditions available across the vast Soviet empire - particularly in hard to reach areas of the frontier where few services were available. This propelled a new, modified form to gain traction, one in particular that included a powered loading ramp for ease of moving cargo pallets to and from the aircraft to awaiting bays or transport trucks. With a new ramp design finishing its testing phase, the installation commenced to produce the new working designation of An-26.
As finalized, the An-26 carried over much of the same form and function of the preceding An-24 model including its high-wing design and twin engine layout. The tail unit remained a single vertical fin with low-set horizontal planes. The flight deck was held at the extreme front end of the fuselage aft of a short nose cone. The cargo hold then made up a bulk of the available internal space remaining. Initial production models were recognized simply as "An-26" and were identified in NATO nomenclature as "Curl-A". A combo passenger/cargo-hauler form then became the An-26-100. The local Chinese variant became the Xian Y-7H military transport.
Other limited production variants followed including an Arctic reconnaissance platform with special mission equipment, an atmospheric air lab, an assault transport prototype, various testbeds, a fire-fighting platform, and other proposed (some unrealized) designs.
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.
March 2022 - Serbia has signed a deal to replace its aging fleet of Soviet-era An-26 tactical transports with CN295 types. Deliveries are expected to begin late 2023.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.
78.1 ft (23.80 m)
95.8 ft (29.20 m)
28.2 ft (8.60 m)
33,069 lb (15,000 kg)
52,911 lb (24,000 kg)
+19,842 lb (+9,000 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Antonov An-26 (Curl) production variant)
monoplane / high-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted at the upper-most position allowable along the dorsal line of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Antonov An-26 (Curl) production variant)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Antonov An-26 (Curl) production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
An-26 "Curl" - Base Series Designation; initial production aircraft.
An-26-100 - Passenger / cargo hauler
An-26A - Assault transport; single example.
An-26A SLK - Modernized variant
An-26B - Civilian cargo hauler
An-26B-100 - Passenger / cargo hauler
An-26BL - Alternative designation covering An-26L.
An-26BRL - Alternative designation covering An-26RL.
An-26D - Long-range variant
An-26KPA - Equipment testbed
An-26L - Testbed
An-26LL-PLO - Airborne testbed
An-26LP - Fire-fighting platform
An-26M - Airborne hospital
An-26P - Fire-fighting platform
An-26REP - Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM) platform.
An-26RL - Surveillance, reconnaissance and monitoring for Arctic circle.
An-26RR - Alternative designation covering An-26RT.
An-26RT - Communications relay platform
An-26RTR - Alternative designation covering An-26RT.
An-26S - VIP passenger carrier
An-26Sh - Navigator trainer platform
An-26ST - East German Air Force special-missions aircraft.
An-26Z-1 - Czech ELINT model
An-50 - Proposed jet-powered variant
Xian Y-7H - Chinese military transport model
Xian Y-14 - Chinese An-26 copy
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
1 / 1
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery network database.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.