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An-72 Antonov
An-72, An-74
ASCC codename: Coaler
Light Transport

The An-72 first appeared in the late 1970s as a replacement for the An-26 transport. Since its introduction, the An-72 has come to fill a number of roles in the Russian military and also become a popular aircraft with several civil operators.

Key to the An-72 design are its many advanced features intended to maximize short takeoff and landing (STOL) operations from rough fields. The plane's two turbofan engines, for example, are located above and forward of the high-mounted wing. In addition to minimizing foreign object damage to the engines, this placement allows the high-speed engine exhaust to be blown over the upper surface of the wing. The exhaust passes over double-slotted flaps placed on the inboard wing and is deflected downward by a phenomenon called the Coanda effect. Combined with triple-slotted flaps on the outboard wing, this aerodynamic design generates considerable lift to reduce runway distance. Other high-lift features, including full-span leading edge flaps, allow the An-72 to operate from very short fields.

The An-72 also makes use of rugged landing gear with low-pressure tires that permit operations from unprepared fields, snow, or ice. To further improve arctic operations, Antonov developed the An-74 with ski-landing gear, de-icing equipment, and a number of other upgrades allowing the aircraft to support operations in Arctic or Antarctic environments. Another major variant of the design family is the An-72P maritime patrol model fitted with offensive weapons and various surveillance equipment.

Military versions of the An-72 and An-74 continue to serve with the Russian Air Force while the An-74 is popular with Aeroflot and other airlines. At least 150 examples of the An-72 and An-74 were completed by 1994 and the type remains in production.

Data below for An-72A 'Coaler-C'
Last modified 21 April 2011

First Flight (An-72) 22 December 1977
(An-74TK-300) 20 April 2001
Service Entry

1980 (?)

CREW: (An-72) three: pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer
(An-74) five: pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, radio operator, navigator

PASSENGERS: (An-72A) 68 troops, 57 paratroops, or 24 stretchers
(An-72P) 40 troops or 22 paratroops
(An-72S) 24 passengers, 38 troops, or eight stretchers



Wing Root unknown
Wing Tip


Length 92.09 ft (28.07 m)
Wingspan 104.63 ft (31.89 m)
Height 28.38 ft (8.65 m)
Wing Area 1,062.0 ft² (98.62 m²)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty 41,995 lb (19,050 kg)
Normal Takeoff 60,625 lb (27,500 kg) from 3,280 ft (1,000 m) runway
Max Takeoff (An-72A) 76,060 lb (34,500 kg)
(An-74TK-300) 82,670 lb (37,500 kg)
Fuel Capacity unknown
Max Payload

22,045 lb (10,000 kg)

Powerplant two Lotarev D-36 or D-436 turbofans
Thrust (D-36) 28,660 lb (127.5 kN)
(D-436) 33,100 lb (147.2 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 440 mph (705 km/h) at 32,810 ft (10,000 m)
at sea level: unknown
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling 38,715 ft (11,800 m)
Range typical: 430 nm (800 km) with maximum payload
ferry: 2,590 nm (4,800 km)
g-Limits unknown

Gun none
(An-72P) one 23-mm GSh-23L cannon
Stations (An-72P) three external hardpoints and an internal bomb hoise
Air-to-Air Missile none
Air-to-Surface Missile (An-72P) anti-ship missiles (?)
Bomb none
(An-72P) various
Other none
(An-72P) rocket pods, torpedoes, depth charges

An-72 'Coaler-A' Prototypes and pre-production aircraft; 11 built including 1 static test article, 2 flying prototypes, and 8 pre-production airframes
An-72A 'Coaler-C' Initial production STOL transport with a longer fuselage and increased wingspan
An-72AT 'Coaler-C' Dedicated freight version of the An-72A compatible with international shipping containers
An-72S 'Coaler-C' Executive transport fitted with a galley in a front cabin, work and rest areas in a central cabin, and 24 armchairs in a rear cabin, can also be reconfigured for transporting freight or 38 passengers or as an air ambulance carrying eight stretchers
An-72P Maritime patrol variant equipped with weapons stations on either side of the fuselage and underneath the rear loading ramp, also equipped with sophisticated cameras and sensors to search for targets and pinpoint their positions, can be configured for up to 40 passengers or 22 paratroops
An-74 'Coaler-B' Arctic/Antarctic support model with space for 5 crew, increased fuel capacity, larger radar in bulged nose radome, improved navigation equipment, better de-icing equipment, and can be fitted with wheels or skis
An-74A Passenger or freghter model
An-74MP Maritime patrol model that can carry up to 44 soldiers, 22 paratroops, 16 stretchers with medical staff, or 10 metric tons of cargo
An-74T Dedicated freighter version equipped with an internal winch, roller equipment, and cargo mooring points, can also be fitted with static lines for paratroops or dropping air cargo
An-74T-100 Variant of the An-74T fitted with a navigator station
An-74T-200 Military transport based on the An-74T
An-74T-200A Military transport
An-74TK Convertible passenger/cargo model that can be equipped for up to 52 passengers, up to 10 metric tons of cargo, or a mix of the two
An-74TK-100 Variant of the An-74TK configured for up to four flight crew including a navigator station
An-74TK-200 Variant of the An-74TK configured for only two flight crew
An-74TK-300 An-74TK model primarily for civil customers with more fuel efficient engines on conventional underwing pylons that gives up the STOL capabilities of earlier models in favor of lower operating cost and higher speed, also incorporates improved avionics and passenger comfort features
An-74-400 Proposed stretch model of the An-74TK-300 with a fuselage insert to extend length by 26 ft (8 m), also would be equipped with uprated engines
An-74TK-100C Air ambulance based on the An-74TK-100 able to carry two stetchers and four medical personnel plus six passengers in a VIP cabin or a total payload of 2 metric tons, can also be configured as a VIP transport for up to 22 passengers
An-74P-200 Executive jet or VIP transport configured similarly to the An-72S for up to 12 passengers
An-74VIP Executive transport configurable to customer request that can carry 10 or 16 passengers and oversized freight, such as an automobile, depending on the layout
An-71 'Madcap' Airborne early warning model with a large rotating radome housing a surveillance radar mounted atop a swept-forward tailfin, the cabin contains stations for the radar operators; project cancelled after 3 prototypes built



Civil Aeroflot
Air Armenia
Air One
Antonov Airlines
Atlantic Airlines
Badr Airlines
Bashkirian Airlines
KS Avia
Motor Sich Airlines
Yamal Airlines
Government/Military Angola, Força Aérea Nacional Angolana (National Air Force of Angola)
Armenia (Armenian Air Force)
Egypt, Al Quwwat al Jawwiya il Misriya (Egyptian Air Force)
Georgia (Georgian Air Force)
Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force)
Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan Air Force)
Libya, Al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Jamahiriya al Arabia al Libyya (Libyan Air Force)
Moldova (Moldovan Air Force)
Peru, Fuerza Aérea del Perú (Peruvian Air Force)
Russia, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Russian Air Force)
Russia, Federal'naya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii (Federal Security Service)
Ukraine, Voyenno Vozdushnyye Sily (Ukraine Military Air Forces)
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Soviet Air Force)
United Nations



  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 57, Antonov An-72/-74.
  • Donald, David and Lake, Jon, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 2000, p. 37-39, Antonov An-72 'Coaler-A', 'Coaler-C', An-74 'Coaler-B' and 'Madcap'.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995, p. 48, Antonov An-72 and An-74 'Coaler'.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1995, p. 33-35, An-71, An-72, An-74.
  • Müller, Claudio. Aircraft of the World. NY: Muddle Puddle Books, 2004, p. 42-43, Antonov An-74TK-300.
  • Paul Nann's Military Aviation Photo Gallery
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 122, Antonov An-72/74 Coaler.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 253-254, Antonov An-72 and An-74 (NATO name Coaler).
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 237-238, Antonov An-72 and An-74 (NATO name Coaler).

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