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The An22 "Antei" is 56 years old !


An antonov An22 cargo airplane is parked on an airport by night
The An22 prepares for the night at Marseille airport in May 2020

The mighty Antonov An22 first flew on February 27th, 1965 ! This aircraft is the biggest turboprop powered airplane in the world.

Only 69 of them were built but it is still in service in the Russian air Force and by Antonov Design Bureau for chartered outsized cargo flights. The An22 is powered by 4 Kuznetsov NK-12MA turboprop delivering a combined 60,000 shp. For comparison, the much more modern Airbus A400M "only" has 50,000shp.

I was lucky to see this wonderful machine 3 times as it visited Marseille for cargo missions to Africa. Thanks to its huge wheels and low pressure tyres, the An22 can land on unpaved runways despite its 115,000 tons of empty weight (with a maximum take off weight of 250,000 tons).