Close this search box.

Antonov An-22 Antei

In the late 1950s, the Soviet Union required a large military transport aircraft to supplement the Antonov An-8 and An-12s then entering service.

Originally known as the An-20, the model is a conventional multi-engine high-wing design.

In the early 1960s, the Antonov bureau produced a wooden mock up at its Kyiv, Ukraine, workshops of what was designated the Model 100.

The prototype, now designated the An-22, was rolled out on 18 August 1964 and first flew on 27 February 1965.

The prototype was given the name Antaeus and, after four-months of test flying, was displayed at the 1965 Paris Air Show.

All aircraft were built at the Tashkent State Aircraft Factory and the first military delivery was made to the Air Transport Wing at Ivanovo Airbase in 1969.

The aircraft was designed as a strategic airlifter, designed specifically to expand the Soviet Airborne Troops’ capability to land with their then-new BMD-1 armoured vehicles.

The An-22 cargo hold can accommodate four BMD-1s compared to only one in the An-12.

It has the capability to take-off from austere, unpaved, and short airstrips, allowing airborne troops to perform air-landing operations.

This is achieved by four pairs of contra-rotating propellers, similar to those on the Tupolev Tu-114.

The propellers and exhaust from the engines produce a slipstream over the wings and large double-slotted flaps. The landing gear is ruggedized for rough airstrips.

In early versions tire pressures could be adjusted in flight for optimum landing performance.

That feature was removed in later models.

The An-22 follows traditional cargo transport design with a high-mounted wing allowing a large cargo space of 33 m in length and a usable volume of 639 m³.

The forward fuselage is fully pressurized and provides space for 5 to 8 crew and up to 28 passengers, but the cargo space is pressurized to only 3.55 PSI / 0.245 bar allowing for a lighter airframe.

A door equipped with pressure bulkhead is located at frame 14, separating the cargo attendant’s compartment from the main cargo compartment.

This allows the rear cargo doors to be opened during flight for paratroops and equipment drop.

Like the An-12, the aircraft has a circular fuselage section.

The An-22 has set a number of payload and payload-to-height world records.

The An-22 has the general appearance of an enlarged version of the earlier Antonov An-12 except that it is fitted with a twin tail.

This gives the An-22 better engine-out performance, and reduces height restrictions for hangars.

Also of note are large anti-flutter masses on the top of each tail.

Only one production variant was built, the standard An-22.

Prototypes, such as the one first featured at the 1965 Paris Air Show had fully glazed noses that lacked the nose-mounted radar of production models.

Those aircraft had the radar mounted below the right wheel well fairing, forward of the wheels.

Antonov designated a variant with a modified electrical system and an additional augmented flight control system the An-22A but the designation was not used by the military.





28–29 pax / 80,000 kg (176,370 lb) maximum payload


57.92 m (190 ft 0 in) approx


64.4 m (211 ft 3 in)


12.53 m (41 ft 1 in)

Wing area

345 m2 (3,710 sq ft)



TsAGI S-5-16 


TsAGI S-5-13

Empty weight

114,000 kg (251,327 lb)

Max take-off weight

250,000 kg (551,156 lb)

Fuel capacity

43,000 kg (94,799 lb) maximum


4 × Kuznetsov NK-12MA turboprop engines,

11,000 kW (15,000 shp) each (equivalent)


8-bladed contra-rotating constant-speed reversible-pitch propeller


Maximum speed

740 km/h (460 mph, 400 kn)


5,000 km (3,100 mi, 2,700 nmi) with maximum payload

10,950 km (6,800 mi; 5,910 nmi) with maximum fuel and 45,000 kg (99,208 lb) payload

Wing loading

724.6 kg/m2 (148.4 lb/sq ft) max


0.1789 kW/kg (0.1088 hp/lb) max

Take-off run

1,300 m (4,265 ft)

Landing run

800 m (2,625 ft).


Share on facebook