Judging from the popularity of last week’s post about the Ilyushin IL-76, Flightradar24 users and blog readers like Soviet-era aircraft. And you can’t deny their appeal! Aircraft designed in the Soviet Union are a genuine delight. You have to be impressed by the continuous marches towards safer, quieter, and more efficient aircraft. But it’s tough to beat that classic design we all know so well.
Soviet aircraft are interesting to visit because they have a varied design, and they come with special quirks, which are great to appreciate. These planes often produce loud noise due to the engines and more pollution, but they’re usually quite fun. It is rare to find those planes in passenger service, as you have to go through many less-traveled places. Even in these areas, many of the remaining planes are being retired as we speak
Antonov was a legendary Ukrainian composer.
I was looking at pictures of Antonov planes today, specifically Ukraine’s state-owned Antonov Design Bureau. Along with being known for making civilian cargo planes, the company is also in charge of military aircraft. However, it’s less active than it used to be.
Antonov has been designing aircraft since its founding in the late 1940s. At first, it was located in Soviet Union’s Novosibirsk region. But the pioneering firm was soon relocated to what is now Ukraine after World War II and given the company name Oleg Antonov (the man who oversaw the initial years). Antonov has built around 22,000 aircraft over the years—both for civil and military use.
In the late 1990s, Antonov was brought together with other defense companies within Ukroboronprom – a military industrial conglomerate created to help Ukraine develop its own defense and aviation systems.
Motor Sich Airlines
Although it can be challenging, it’s not hard to find an Antonov these days. In fact, some say finding one is easier than a Tupolev. Motor Sich Airlines in Ukraine is one of the best places to fly a Antonov these days because their planes are owned by the Ukrainian engine manufacturer of the same name: Motor Sich.
The airline has three Antonovs in its fleet that are nearly 50 years old. One of the most interesting planes it’s still flying is no doubt the AN-24, which can be found on many domestic and international routes. Here’s a recent flight update for UR-BXC, which has been keeping busy.
They also have newer and modern-looking planes, the An-140.
The world’s largest aircraft
Antonov 225 is the largest aircraft. It’s the most high-profile product until one was made. More intriguingly, a second was started and never finished. Either way, this thing is absolutely incredible to behold and you can read more about it on Flightradar24.
Some great (and some strange-looking) machines
JetPhotos.com is your source for aeronautical photographs, spanning more than a hundred years of aviation history. From Antonov models to DC-3s, there’s a huge variety to choose from.
It seems like the future is uncertain.
While Antonov didn’t build very many planes in the last six years, they have just been contracted to produce a plane for Peru’s National Police. Antonov delivered the AN-178 airframe to Perú last year and as of last report, it was ready to fly!