Military Wiki
An-26 of the Serbian Air Force
Role Transport aircraft
National origin Soviet Union (Ukraine)
Design group Antonov
First flight 21 May 1969[1]
Status Operational
Primary users Belorussian Air Force
Hungarian Air Force
Produced 1969–1986
Number built 1,403
Developed from Antonov An-24
Variants Antonov An-32

The Antonov An-26 (NATO reporting name: Curl) is a twin-engined turboprop civilian and military transport aircraft, designed and produced in the USSR in 1969–1985.[1]


After successful operations of the An-24T tactical transport in austere locations, interest in a version with a retractable cargo ramp increased. Initial studies for the retractable ramp were carried out as part of the projected An-40 medium transport. When given the go-ahead for the An-26 in March 1968 the Antonov OKB adapted the ramp design of the An-40 to the An-24 fuselage, thus was born the An-26. Particular attention was given to the military mission and the majority of early An-26 production was delivered to the VT-A.[1]

Using the majority of the An-24 airframe, with its high-set cantilevered wings, twin turboprops and stalky main undercarriage, the An-26 included military equipment, such as tip-up paratroop canvas seats, overhead traveling hoist, bulged observation windows and parachute static line attachment cables. The An-26 made its public debut at the 27th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget where the second prototype, CCCP-26184 (c/n00202), was shown in the static aircraft park.

The An-26 is also manufactured without a license agreement[1] in China by Xian Aircraft Factory as the Y-14, later changed to be included in the Xian Y7 series.[1]


An-26 cargo cabin

"Curl-A" : Twin-engine tactical transport aircraft.[1]
Convertible passenger/cargo aircraft modified from 'An-26' aircraft at the Kiev plant from 1999.[1]
An-26 Nel'mo
(meaning unknown) An arctic surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft retrofitted with the Nel'mo equipment.[1]
An-26 Pogoda
(Weather) Another aircraft for weather control duties, similar to the 'An-26 Tsiklon ', with a simplified equipment test lab.[1]
An-26 Polyot
(Flight) A single aircraft retrofitted with the purpose of research of unified air traffic control and monitoring system throughout the USSR, with a comprehensive navigation test lab including precision compasses and Doppler speed/shift sensors.[1]
An-26 Sfera
(Sphere) A single production aircraft built as laboratory for atmospheric research.[1]
An-26 Shtabnoy
(Shtab: or Headquarters) some 'An-26's delivered to the Soviet and DDR air forces for use as staff transports/mobile command posts.[1]
An-26 Vita
(Life) A single mobile operating room, surgery and intensive care unit ('25 Blue', c/n5406), for the Ukrainian Air Force.[1]
A one-off assault transport prototype with higher performance due to removal of some military equipment.[1]
(Avtomatizeerovannaya Sistema Lyotnovo Kontrolya – automated flight control and monitoring system) : A modern flight control and monitoring system equipped with automatic calibration and navigation system. Recognizable by the distinctive pod low on the forward fuselage side.[1]
A civil cargo version equipped with roller gangs which can be swung up against the cabin walls when not in use. It was also equipped with two ZMDB Progress (Ivchyenko) Al-24VT turboprop power plants to deliver higher thrust.[1]
'Mobile Hospital' : The prototype 'An-26B' retrofitted as a mobile civilian emergency hospital.[1]
An-26B Tsiklon
(Cyclone) A weather research/control and cloud-seeding aircraft for the Central Aerologic Laboratory. This aircraft was used for rain induction and protection using cloud-seeding chemicals dropped from slab sided pods hung from pylons.[1]
Convertible passenger/cargo aircraft modified from 'An-26B' aircraft at the Kiev plant from 1999.[1]
Alternative designation for the 'An-26L'.[1]
Alternative designation of the 'An-26RL' Arctic surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.[1]
(Dal'niy – long-range) An extended range version with extra fuel in wing tanks and additional external tanks attached to the airframe of the fuselage. One aircraft ('21 Yellow', c/n 13806) was retrofitted and delivered, but no further orders were forthcoming.[1]
An-26K Kaira
(Great Auk) A single An-26 aircraft converted to a Kaira test airframe for the development of airborne LASER guided systems.[1]
An-26K Kaplya
(Drop [of liquid]) After completion of the LASER designator trials the 'An-26K Kaira' was retrofitted to search or optically guided weapons as the navigation systems. During a night test flight at low-level, in March 1989, the An-26K Kaplya suffered a massive bird strike, which consequently destroyed the windshield and injured the pilot, who involuntarily downed the aircraft into the Azov Sea.[1]
(Kontrol'no-Poverochnaya Apparatura – Testing and calibration equipment) : A navigation aids inspecting aircraft with comprehensive navigation equipment and calibration equipment.[1]
A single 'An-26', (14 Orange, c/n 00607), used at Sperenberg Airfield near Berlin, for airfield and NAVAID calibration.[1]
(Letayuschaya Laboratoriya – Protivolodochnoy Oborony – ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) testbed) : A single 'An-26A' aircraft, (c/n 0901), retrofitted and modified to accommodate range of sophisticated laboratory for surveillance systems, detecting and tracking stealthy nuclear submarines.[1]
Fire-fighting version, for delivery of field equipment and para-dropping fire-fighters in lieu of water-bombing (any more info?).[1]
An-26M Spasatel
(rescue worker) Flying hospital with an emergency surgery facility and consultation conference room.[1]
(Protivopozharnyy – fire-fighting) : Aircraft fire engine fighter, retrofitted with water lifting vessels in pods either side of the lower fuselage.[1]
An-26P Prozhektor
(Projector or Searchlight) A single conversion of an An-26 as a guided missile system airframe.[1]
(RadioElektronnoye Protivodeystviye – ECM (Electronic Counter-Measures) [aircraft]) : Electronic Counter-Measures aircraft fitted with active jammers in cylindrical pods on either side of the lower fuselage sides, as well as chaff and I/R flares for self-defense.[1]
(Razvedchik Ledovyy – An arctic surveillance, reconnaissance and monitoring) : An arctic surveillance, reconnaissance and monitoring aircraft used to monitor the icebergs and ice formations at arctic circle fitted with SLAR (Sideways Looking Airborne Radar) in long pods on either side of the lower fuselage, extra fuel in a cargo hold fuel tank, provision for surveyors and radar operators.[1]
Alternative unit designation of the 'An-26RT' ELINT(ELectronic INTelligence) aircraft.[1]
"Curl-B": (First use of the designation) A basic designation for a series of ELINT aircraft fitted with a wide range of electro-magnetic surveillance equipment. At least one aircraft, (tactical code '152'), retrofitted with the Tarahn (Ramming Attack) ELINT suite for use in Afghanistan.[1]
(ReTranslyator – Interpreter -Translator): (Substitute of designation) Battlefield communications relay aircraft, fitted with powerful Inzheer (Fig) radio relay system, for connecting forward units to headquarters units.[1]
Alternative unit designation of the 'An-26RT' ELINT aircraft.[1]
(Salon – [VIP] Lounge) : A new VIP Lounge aircraft for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense delivered about 1997.[1]
(Shturmanskiy – Navigator) : Navigator trainer for the VVS, 36 built at Kiev.[1]
A proposed jet powered variant of the An-26.

Non-USSR /-Ukrainian versions

DDR An-26SM "369" later German Air Force "52+09" at Museum Berlin-Gatow

DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik – German Democratic Republic) Air Force "369" NAVAID calibration and flight monitoring, retrofitted from An-26 c/n11402, and transferred to the post-unification Bundesluftwaffe as 52+09.[1]
DDR "373" ELINT aircraft, retrofitted from An-26 c/n14208, and transferred to the post-unification Bundesluftwaffe as 52+10.[1]
DDR special duties aircraft.[1]
DDR unofficial designation for 'An-26's' operated by Transportfliegerstaffel 24 (transport squadron 24).[1]
Czechoslovakian ELINT conversion of c/n12904 for ELINT duties.[1]
Xian Y-7H
Military transport version. Chinese production version.[1]
Xian Y-14
Initial designation of the 'AN-26' copy, later changed to 'Y-7H' (Hao – cargo).[1]


Military operators

Military An-26 operators.

Ukrainian An-26

Slovak Air Force An-26 at Farnborough Airshow, 2008

Source: Aerospace Source Book 2007[2]
 Cape Verde
 Republic of the Congo
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo Air Force – 1

Former Military operators

Afghan MI-17 and An-26

ANA Air Corps An-26 (foreground) and Mi-17 (background)


An-26 of the Czech Air Force

 East Germany

An-26 of the Lithuanian Air Force (now retired)


An-26 of the Polish Air Force (Operated before 2009, now retired)

 Soviet Union
United States

Civil operators

MIAT Antonov AN-26, used for domestic transportation, at Chinggis Khaan International Airport

In August 2006 267 Antonov AN-26 aircraft remain in airline service. Major operators include: Lao Airlines (6), Syrian Arab Airlines (6), Aerocom (5), ARP 410 Airlines (5), Air Urga (10), Exin (9), RAF-Avia (5), Turkmenistan Airlines (5), Iraero (7), Scorpion Air (6), Yakutia Airlines (5) and Aerogaviota (18). Some 106 other airlines operate smaller numbers of the type.[8]

  • Genex (2)
  • Air Sofia
  • Heli Air
  • Scorpion Air
  • Sadelca (1)
  • Servicio Aéreo del Vaupés SELVA (3)
Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark
  • SAS Cargo Group (1)
  • Budapest Aircraft Service (4)
  • CityLine Hungary (4)
  • RAF-Avia (5)
  • Lao Airlines (6)
  • Aerocom (1) until 2004
  • Mongolian Airlines MIAT
  • Askari Aviation
  • Aero Condor (1)
  • Amazon Sky (2)
  • ATSA (1)
  • Cielos Andinos (2)
  • Star Peru (1)
  • Interisland Airlines
  • Mosphil Aero
  • Exin (6)
  • Yakutia Airlines (5)
  • Feeder Airlines (1)
  • Syrian Arab Airlines (6)
  • Tajik Air (1)
  • Turkmenistan Airlines (5)
  • Air Urga (10)
  • ARP 410 Airlines (5)
  • SolarCargo
AN-26 operators within Aeroflot and post break-up Commonwealth of Independent States (data from[1])
UGA – (Upravleniye Grazhdanskoy Aviatsii – Civil Aviation Directorate) OAO – (Otdel'nyy Aviaotryad – independent flight detachment) LO – (Lyvotnyy Otryad – flight squad) / Aviaeskadril'ya – squadrons) Home Base CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) Airline)
Azerbaijan Baku 360th / 1st & 3rd squadrons Baku-Bina AZAL (no An-26s)
Belorussian Gomel' 105th / 2nd squadron Gomel' Gomel'avia
1st Minsk 353rd / 2nd Squadron Minsk-Loshitsa (Minsk-1) Belavia;Minsk-Avia
Central Regions Bykovo 61st / 4th Squadron Moscow-Bykovo Bykovo Avia
Kursk Kursk Kurskavia
Tula 294th Tula Tula Air Enterprise
East Siberian Chita 136th / 1st Squadron Chita Chita Avia
Irkutsk 134th Irkutsk-1 Baikal Airlines
Far Eastern 1st Khabarovsk 289th Khabarovsk Dalavia Far East Airlines Khabarovsk
Kamchatka CAPA / Petropavlovsk Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Air Enterprise
Sakhalin CAPA / Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk UAD 147th Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk / Khomutvo Sakhalinskiye Aviatrassy
Komi Pechora Pechora Komiavia;Komiinteravia
Krasnoyarsk Igarka 251st Igarka
2nd Krasnoyarsk 126th Krasnoyarsk-Severnyy Kras Air
Khatanga 221st / 2nd Squadron Khatanga
Leningrad 2nd Leningrad 70th / 2nd Squadron Leningrad-Rzhevka Rzhevka Air Enterprise
Pskov 320th / 2nd Squadron Pskov Pskov Avia
Lithuanian Vilnius 277th Vilnius Lithuanian Airlines
Magadan Anadyr' 150th / 2nd Squadron Anadyr'-Ugol'nyy Chukotavia
1st Magadan 185th Magadan-Sokol Kolyma-Avia
Seymchan Seymchan NW Aerial Forestry Protection Base
Moldavian Kishinyov 407th Kishinyov Air Moldova
North Caucasian Krasnodar 241st Krasnodar ALK Kuban Airlines
1st Krasnodar 406th Krasnodar
Tajik Leninabaddisambiguation needed 292nd / 2nd Squadron Leninabad
Training Establishments Directorate KVLUGA (Kirovograd Civil Aviation Higher Flying School) Kirovograd Ukraine State Flight Academy
Turkmen Krasnovodsk 360th Krasnovodsk Turkmenistan Airlines/Khazar
Tyumen' Salekhard 234th / 5th Squadron Salekhard
2ndTyumen' 357th Tyumen'-Roschchino Tyumen'AviaTrans (UTair)
Ukrainian Dnipropetrovsk 327th Dnipropetrovsk-Volos'kie Dniproavia
Kirovograd Kirovograd-Khmelyovoye Air URGA
Simferopol' 84th Simferopol' Aviakompaniya Krym / Crimea AL
Urals Izhevsk Izhevsk Izhavia
Magnitogorsk Magnitogorsk Magnitogorsk Air Enterprise
1st Perm' Perm'-Bolshoye Savino Perm Airlines
1st Sverdlovsk Sverdlovsk-Kol'tsovo Ural Airlines [Yekaterinburg]
Volga Penza 396th Penza Penza Air Enterprise
Saransk Saransk Saransk Air Enterprise
West Siberian Barnaul 341st Barnaul Barnaul Air Enterprise
Kemerovo 196th Kemerovo
Novokuznetsk 184th Novokuznetsk Aerokuznetsk
Omsk 365th Omsk Omsk-Avia
Tolmachevo 448th Novosibirsk-Tolmachevo Sibir'
Tomsk 119th Tomsk Tomsk Avia
Yakutian Kolyma-Indigirka Cherskiy?
Mirnyy 190th Mirnyy Almazy Rossii – Sakha (Alrosa)
Yakutsk 139th / 3rd Squadron Yakutsk
GosNII GVF (Gosudarstvenny Nauchno-Issledovatel'skiy Institut Grazdahnskovo Vozdushnovo Flota – state scientific test institute for civil air fleet) Moscow - Sheremet'yevo-1

An-26 airplanes in museums

An-26 "52+09" in Berlin-Gatow

  • Poland
    • An-26, tail number "1509" is exhibited in the Polish Aviation Museum in Kraków
    • An-26, tail number "1602" is exhibited in the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw. The inside of the aircraft is open to visitors on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 15 p.m. and on special occasions.
  • Germany
    • An-26, tail number "52+04", former East German "375", is exhibited at Technikmuseum Speyer
    • An-26, tail number "52+05", former East German "376" is exhibited at Schwäbisches Bauern- und Technik-Museum, Eschach-Seifertshofen
    • An-26, tail number "52+08", former East German "368" is exhibited at Flugausstellung Hermeskeil
    • An-26SM, tail number "52+09", former East German "369", is exhibited at Militärhistorisches Museum Flugplatz Berlin-Gatow

Accidents and incidents

  • 1982 Ethiopia. On 14 January 1982, an Ethiopian Air Force An-26 crashed near Addis Ababa, killing 73 Ethiopian, Libyan and Cuban troops.
  • 1985 Afghanistan. On 4 September 1985, a Bakhtar Afghan Airlines An-26 was shot down by a SAM near Kandahar, killing all 52 people on board.
  • 1986 Mozambique. On 30 March 1986, a Mozambique Air Force An-26 crashed while trying to land at Pemba Airport. All 3 crew and 41 of the 46 passengers were killed.
  • 1988 Angola. On 27 April 1988, a Cuban Air Force An-26 was accidentally shot down by Cuban troops stationed at Techamutete, killing all 29 people on board.
  • 1988 Pakistan. On 10 December 1988, an Ariana Afghan Airlines An-26 was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force, killing all 25 people on board.
  • 1992 Germany. On 27 February, a German Air Force An-26 "52+10" crashed after a hard landing. None of the crew members were injured.
  • 1992 Libya. Yasir Arafat's An-26 crashed on 8 April 1992 during a sandstorm. Of the 13 on board, both pilots and an engineer were killed.
  • 1999 Nicaragua: On 21 January 1999, a Nicaraguan Air Force An-26 crashed after getting too low on approach and striking a tree near Bluefields Airport, killing all 28 people on board.
  • 2003 Democratic Republic of the Congo. On 29 November 2003, a DRC Air Force An-26 crashed during take-off due to a burst tyre, killing 20 of the 24 people on board and 13 people on the ground.
  • The 2007 Balad aircraft crash was a 9 January 2007 airplane incident involving an Antonov An-26 airliner, which crashed while attempting to land at the U.S. military base in Balad, Iraq.[3] The crash killed 34 passengers on board and left one critically injured.
  • 2007 Democratic Republic of the Congo. On 4 October 2007 an Africa One-operated An-26 crashed into the Kinshasa neighbourhood of Kimbaseke just after takeoff. 21 out of 22 people on board and 28 people on the ground died. Initial reports indicate a lost propeller.
  • 2008 Vietnam. On 8 April 2008 an An-26 crashed during a training mission near Hanoi, killing five Vietnamese military pilots.
  • 2010 Exin's An-26B registered SP-FDO made an emergency landing on the Lake Ülemiste on 18 March 2010, close to Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport. None of the 6 crew members were injured. Initial reports indicated failure of one of the turboprop power plants.[9]
  • 2010 Exin's ANn26B registered SP-FDP rejected takeoff from Tallinn's runway 08 at high speed when the gear collapsed or retracted during the takeoff roll on 25 August 2010. The airplane skidded to a stop on its belly, no injuries occurred.[10]
  • 2011 Gabon. On 6 June 2011, a Solenta Aviation An-26 freighter flying for DHL Aviation crashed in the sea near Libreville, Gabon. Four people on board were rescued and transported to a local hospital, but were not seriously injured.[11]
  • 2012 Sudan. On 19 August 2012, an An-26-100 flying for Alfa Airlines crashed on its second approach to the Talodi airfield in South Kordofan, Sudan. All 26 passengers on board and six crew members died.[12]


Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988–89[13]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 5 (2 pilots, 1 radio operator, 1 flight engineer, 1 navigator)
  • Capacity: 40 passengers
  • Payload: 5,500 kg (12,125 lb)
  • Length: 23.80 m (78 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 29.20 m (95 ft 9½ in)
  • Height: 8.58 m (28 ft 1½ in)
  • Wing area: 74.98 m² (807 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 15,020 kg (33,113 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 24,000 kg (52,911 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Progress AI-24VT turboprops, 2,103 kW (2,820 ehp) each
  • (plus one Tumansky Ru-19-A300 type 7.85 kN (1,795 lb st) thrust small turbojet in the right nacelle which serves as APU and climb rate / high altitude cruise booster)


  • Cruise speed: 440 km/h (237 knots, 273 mph)
  • Range: 2,500 km (1,376 nmi, 1,584 mi)with maximum fuel; 1,100 km (594 nmi, 683 mi) with maximum payload
  • Service ceiling: 7,500 m (24,600 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 8.0 m/s (1,575 ft/min)

See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 Gordon, Yefim. Komissarov, Dmitry & Sergey. “Antonov's Turboprop Twins”. Hinkley. Midland. 2003. ISBN 978-1-85780-153-8
  2. "Aerospace Source Book 2007", Aviation Week & Space Technology, 15 January 2007.
  3. Ogden (2008)
  4. Marnix Sap, Carlo Brummer: Fortele Aeriene Romane in: Lotnictwo Nr. 4/2010, p.39 (Polish)
  5. ABC news story 2008-04-08
  6. (Polish) D. Sałata, K. Sałata, A. Wrona, Pożegnanie Ana-26 (Goodbye to An-26) in: Skrzydlata Polska 2/2009, p.28
  7. "6th Special Operations Squadron Fact Sheet". 
  8. Flight International, 3–9 October 2006
  9. Globalfligt news article 2010-03-18
  10. Hradecky, Simon. "Accident: Exin AN26 at Tallinn on Aug 25th 2010, gear collapse during takeoff". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  11. "DHL cargo plane crashes in Gabon, no fatalities". BNO News. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  12. "Sudan Plane Crash Kills Government Minister, Scores of Senior Officials". NYCAviation. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  13. Taylor (1988), pp. 222—223.
  • Chant, Christopher. Commercial Aircraft and Airline Markings
  • Ogden, Bob (2008). Aviation Museums and Collections of The Rest of the World. UK: Air-Britain. ISBN 978-0-85130-394-9
  • Taylor, John W.R. 1988. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988–89. Jane's Defence Data. ISBN 978-0-7106-0867-3.
  • Gordon, Yefim. Komissarov, Dmitry & Sergey. “Antonov's Turboprop Twins”. Hinkley. Midland. 2003. ISBN 978-1-85780-153-8

External links

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