The Antonov An-178 (Ukrainian: Антонов Ан-178) is a short-range medium-airlift military transport aircraft designed and produced by the Ukrainian Antonov company. Based on the Antonov An-158 (An-148-200), the project was announced on 5 February 2010. The first prototype was rolled out on 16 April 2015 and conducted its maiden flight on 7 May 2015.[2][3]

Role Military transport aircraft
National origin Ukraine
Design group Antonov
Built by Antonov Serial Production Plant[1]
First flight 7 May 2015
Status In development
Number built 1 as of 2020[citation needed]
Developed from Antonov An-158

The An-178 is proposed to replace several outdated transport aircraft, such as the An-12, An-26 and An-32.[4] The aircraft will have an avionics suite similar to the Antonov An-148, and will use Progress D-436-148FM engines.[citation needed] The An-178 is a potential competitor for the Embraer KC-390 from Brazil.[5] The company has planned to build more than 200 of the aircraft.[6]

Development edit

The An 178 project begun in 2009 as a self-financed venture of Antonov, having resolved to produce a direct successor to the company's previous generation of transport aircraft produced during the Soviet era, including the An-12, An-26 and An-32.[4][7] It is aimed to be a replacement for aging international types such as the Transall C-160.[8] To this end, the company conducted market research to identify the contemporary requirements of the international aviation market as well as the specific needs of existing clients that determined such an aircraft should have its payload capacity optimised for the carriage of between 13 and 18 tonnes. During 2011, work on the detailed design commenced; company officials decided to base the new transport aircraft on the in-production An-148 and An-158 family.[7]

Rollout ceremony of the Antonov An-178 prototype, April 2015

In comparison to the preceding An-12, the new transport aircraft features two engines in place of four, has reduced maintenance requirements, and a smaller flight crew, all of which will lower ongoing costs to its operators.[7] Antonov has promoted the aircraft as incorporating the latest international air freight standards and its limited reliance upon airport infrastructure while loading and unloading multi-tonne freight payloads, enabling its use from austere air strips and inhospitable terrain such as tundra and deserts. Both civilian and military applications have been foreseen for the type on the international market.[7]

During the early 2010s, there were reports that future production-standard An-178s would feature an elongated wingspan while retaining the organic wing panels of the An-158.[8] This would permit its maximal takeoff weight to be increased to an estimated 56 tons. Furthermore, later production variants would need turbofan engines with a thrust of about 9,500 kgf to have the characteristics required, such as the new-generation in-development Ivchenko-Progress AI-28 turbofan. Antonov decided to install less powerful D-436-148FM engines on the first An-178 prototype, perhaps as an interim measure. The D-436-148FM is a derivative of the production-standard D-436-148 with an upgraded fan, which boosted the takeoff thrust to 7,800 kgf; it has an emergency power rating of 8,580 kgf.[8][9]

On 29 July 2014, the main fuselage of the first prototype had been completed and moved to the final assembly hall to be mated with the other airframe components.[8] On 16 April 2015, the first prototype was rolled out at a ceremony held in Kiev. Three weeks later, on 7 May 2015, the prototype performed its maiden flight.[2][10] By this point, the programme was roughly two years behind schedule, as flight testing had been originally set to commence during 2013.[11] By May 2017, a total of 115 test flights had been conducted, during which in excess of 194 flight hours had accumulated.[12]

The An-178 made its Western debut at the 2015 Paris Air Show.[7][13] During the event, Antonov announced that it had secured multiple orders for the first batch of production aircraft, which it claimed was already underway at its primary facility outside Kiev.[7] Furthermore, the company also stated that additional production agreements were being considered with both Azerbaijan and China. It was also said that customers could choose to access associated simulator training through the company.[7] In November 2015, the An-178 also appeared at the Dubai Airshow;[14] shortly thereafter, it was announced that the Royal Saudi Air Force - had signed a letter of intent to obtain 30 An-178; it was also stated that the resulting deal could include localised manufacturing activities in Saudi Arabia.[15][16] Antonov has also discussed potential joint production arrangements with Turkey.[17]

The domestic market has been particularly important to the programme. In June 2019, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine placed an order for 13 An-178s; at the time, these were to be reportedly delivered within three years.[18] During January 2021, it was announced that Antonov was embarking on the production of an initial three An-178s for the Ukrainian Air Force following the signing of a memorandum of cooperation.[19] In May of that year, Antonov announced that fabrication of the fuselage for the Ukrainian ministry of defence's first An-178 had been completed.[20] During December 2021, construction of the first production An-178 was declared to be complete; certification testing commenced thereafter.[21]

Design edit

An An-178 for Ministry of the Interior of Peru under construction, November 2020

The Antonov An-178 is a high-wing transport aircraft with moderately swept wing, winglets and a T-tail. It was derived from the 99-seat An-158 regional airliner and was fitted with the commonized F1 fuselage nose section with the identical flight deck, wing panels, empennage and most of the onboard systems.[8] The fuselage however was newly created with an enlarged diameter that had grown from 3.35 m to 3.9 m, which has resulted in an enlarged cargo hold - the cargo cabin cross section increased to 2.75 m by 2.75 m.[8] Aside from the wing structure, outer panels (including winglets), front fuselage nose, cockpit and nose landing gear which come from the An-158, there is an extra pair of tandem main-wheels on each side.[22]

The airframe is composed of aluminium alloys and composite materials. The fuselage is semi-monocoque with a circular cross-section. The retractable landing gear consists of two main wheel bogies and a dual nose wheel. Digital avionics are furnished.[7] The flight control system is dual duplex fly-by-wire system, consisting of two parts: FCS-A and FCS-B, each of which is responsible for two control channels. The flight control surfaces include ailerons near the wing tips, four control spoilers, six lift-dump/speed-brake spoilers, rudder and elevators, with an emergency mechanical cable back-up system. The powerplant consists of two Progress D-436-148FM turbofan engines, mounted on pylons under the wings, and an auxiliary power unit.[citation needed]

The An 178 is capable of transport payloads of up to 18 tonnes over 1,000 km, or up to 10 tonnes over 4,000 km.[23] It has a fully pressurised cargo compartment, unlike various Soviet-era transport aircraft, which eliminates various restrictions pertaining to the carriage of certain payloads, including passengers, foodstuffs, and other perishables, when flown at high altitude, expanding both the range and application of the aircraft.[7] Potential military payloads include standardised cargo containers, a maximum of 99 infantry personnel with full combat equipment, up to 80 paratroopers, or as many as 40 casualties on litters and 30 seated casualties.[8]

Operators edit

The An-178 prototype in flight

Orders and letters of intent edit

  United Arab Emirates
  Saudi Arabia
  People's Republic of China
  • A-Star - China Beijing technology company placed order for 50 aircraft and proposed to establish joint production in PRC.[29]

Specifications edit

Data from [33][34][35]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 90 soldiers, 70 paratroopers, 48 on stretchers +15 seated, 8 medical modules and 12, or 16 tons of cargo, overload variant 18 tons.
  • Length: 32.23 m (105 ft 9 in)
  • Wingspan: 30.57 m (100 ft 4 in)
  • Height: 9.57 m (31 ft 5 in)
  • Max takeoff weight: 51,000 kg (112,436 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 14,650 kg (32,298 lb)
  • Max landing weight: 47,000 kg (103,617 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Progress D-436-148FM Turbofan
  • Thrust each: 73.55 kN (16,534 lbf)
  • Maximum speed: 990 km/h (620 mph, 530 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 825 km/h (513 mph, 445 kn)
  • Range: 4,700 km (2,900 mi, 2,500 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 5,300 km (3,300 mi, 2,900 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 12,000 m (39,000 ft)
  • Required landing distance: 2,500 m (8,200 ft)

See also edit

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

References edit

  1. ^ "Завершено стапельне складання фюзеляжу першого екземпляру нового транспортного літака Ан−178 (Ukraine)" [Fuselage jig assembly of the first AN−178 transport is completed]. Antonov. 29 July 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b "В Киеве презентовали новый самолет АН-178" [New An-178 aircraft was demonstrated in Kyiv] (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 20 April 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov releases video about its new An-178".
  4. ^ a b "Украина готовит новый транспортный самолет Ан-178 (фото)" [Ukraine is preparing a new transport aircraft An-178 (photo)] (in Ukrainian). 29 July 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  5. ^ "ГП "Антонов" готово начать наземные испытания Ан-178" [SE "Antonov" is ready to begin ground testing AN-178] (in Russian). Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  6. ^ ""Антонов" планує збудувати більше 200 літаків АН-178" ["Antonov" plans to build more than 200 AN-178] (in Ukrainian). Televiziyna Sluzhba Novyn. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "New Antonov An-178 plane debuts in Paris". Archived from the original on 29 December 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Take-off Magazine: Antonov kicks off first An-178 assembly". November 2012.
  9. ^ Zaitsev, Tom (23 July 2012). "Ukraine studies new engine for Antonov jet family".
  10. ^ Salinger, Igor (7 May 2015). "An-178 transport makes 1h debut flight". Reed Business Information Limited. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  11. ^ Trimble, Stephen (7 July 2011). "Antonov details plans for An-178 airlifter".
  12. ^ "Antonov's AN-178 completes testing on loading/unloading of cargo containers, pallets". 26 February 2017.
  13. ^ "Paris Air Show 2015: An-178 – First Time In France". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  14. ^ Hoyle, Craig (9 November 2015). "DUBAI: An-178 makes Middle East debut".
  15. ^ a b "Antonov and Taqnia Aeronatiques signed a Memorandum on delivery of 30 AN−178s to Royal Saudi Air Force". Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  16. ^ Perry, Dominic (18 December 2015). "Royal Saudi Air Force to acquire 30 An-178 transports".
  17. ^ "Ukraine's Antonov seeks cooperation with Turkish partners: Reports". 21 August 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Interior Ministry to acquire 13 An-178 aircraft". Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  19. ^ Kaminski-Morrow, David (14 January 2021). "Ukrainian armed forces to take three An-178s".
  20. ^ Kaminski-Morrow, David (24 May 2021). "Antonov completes fuselage of initial Ukrainian military An-178".
  21. ^ Petrauskaite, Gabriele (31 December 2021). "Antonov completes construction of first An-178-100R military aircraft".
  22. ^ "Latest Antonov Cargo Jet On Show". Aviation Week. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  23. ^ Dalløkken, Per Erlien (17 April 2015). "De lagde verdens største transportfly. Midt i konflikten med Russland er en ny prototyp klar" [New prototype ready]. Teknisk Ukeblad. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  24. ^ "Photo Gallery: Editors' Briefing: The Fortnight In Aerospace And Defense - Aviation Week". Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  25. ^ "Silk Way Airlines signs a firm order for ten Antonov An-178 freighters after the successful first flight". World Airline News. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  26. ^ "Antonovs for Silk Way". Airliner World. No. July 2015. p. 8.
  27. ^ "Antonov Company Continues AN-178 Production for Peru". 15 April 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  28. ^ "World Air Forces 2016: Insight". Flightglobal. 4 January 2016. p. 21. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016.
  29. ^ "China provides boost to An-178 program with fifty-unit order | Cargo Facts". Archived from the original on 18 June 2019. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  30. ^ "Графік складання першого Ан-178-100Р для армії виконується – міністр Таран". Інтерфакс-Україна.
  31. ^ "Український Ан-178 переміг в тендері для МВС Перу транспортні літаки C-27J Spartan та CASA C-295". 31 October 2019.
  32. ^ "Peru cancela compra do Antonov An-178". 10 March 2023.
  33. ^ "Family of Аntonov's regional jet passenger and transport aircraft - online presentation".
  34. ^ "Antonov-178 Transport Multipurpose Aircraft". Archived from the original on 2 July 2020.
  35. ^ "AN-178".

External links edit