Antonov An-12 - The Soviet Hercules

Antonov An-12 - The Soviet Hercules
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Article code07659
Antonov An-12 - The Soviet Hercules - Volume 33
143 pages
b&w and color photos
Soft cover
28 x 22 cm
0,592 kg

The Red Star series has developed into a comprehensive library detailing the development of Soviet and Russian aircraft from World War 2 through to the 21st century. The series has become required reading for all those interested in the history of aviation and, in particular, the development of Soviet aircraft types before, during and after the Cold War. The second volume in the Red Star series scheduled for publication in 2007 covers the An-12, a well known heavy lift aircraft which has seen service around the world.

The new military doctrine evolved in the Soviet Union in the early/mid-1950 contained a requirement for increased troop mobility. Plans were made for modernising and expanding the Soviet Air Forces military airlift arm to meet the exigencies of contemporary warfare. This involved the creation of a dedicated transport aircraft powered by turboprop engines. The design bureau led by Oleg K. Antonov took on the task, developing first the twin-engined An-8 of 1955 and then the four-turboprop An-12 the Soviet counterpart of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.

First flown on 16th December 1957, the An-12 was a derivative of the An-10 medium-haul airliner and had a rather happier fate than its progenitor; indeed, it proved to be almost as successful as the Hercules. The An-12 was built in large numbers and filled a multitude of roles, numerous specialised versions being developed. This rugged airlifter has proved its worth both in combat and in commercial operations throughout the world. Indeed, the An-12 is still used by the Russian Air Force and numerous airlines both in and outside the former Soviet bloc to this day. Moreover, though long since out of production in its home country, the An-12 lives on in China as the Shaanxi Y8, new versions of which are still being developed. The book deals with each known version and gives an account of the An-12s service career. Numerous photos are provided to illustrate the aircraft's many operators, and line drawings are included.