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The Antonov An-71 was a Soviet AWACS aircraft intended for use with the Fighter Bomber forces of the Soviet Air Force, developed from the An-72 transport.
Only three prototypes were built before the program was cancelled.
The Antonov An-72 is a Soviet/Ukrainian transport aircraft, developed by Antonov.
It was designed as an STOL transport and intended as a replacement for the Antonov An-26, but variants have found success as commercial freighters.
The Antonov An-74 is a Soviet / Ukrainian transport aircraft developed by Antonov.
It is a variant of the An-72.
The An-72 and the related An-74 get their nickname, Cheburashka, from the large engine intake ducts, which resemble the oversized ears of the popular Soviet animated character of the same name.
The An-72 first flew in December 1977.
Produced in tandem with the An-72, the An-74 variant adds the ability to operate in harsh weather conditions in polar regions, because it can be fitted with wheel-skis landing gear, de-icing equipment and a number of other upgrades, allowing the aircraft to support operations in Arctic or Antarctic environments.
Other An-72 versions include the An-72S VIP transport and An-72P maritime patrol aircraft.
An unusual design feature of the An-72 is the use of the Coandă effect to improve STOL performance, utilizing engine exhaust gases blown over the wing’s upper surface to boost lift.
The first flight was made on 31 August 1977, but it was only in the 1980s that production started.
The power plant used is the Lotarev D-36 turbofan engine.
The An-72 bears some resemblance to the unsuccessful Boeing YC-14, a prototype design from the early 1970s which had also used over wing engines and the Coandă effect.
The rear fuselage of the aircraft has a hinged loading ramp with a rear fairing that slides backwards and up to clear the opening. Up to 7.5 tons can be airdropped while there are folding side seats for 52 passengers.