Antonow An-12 1966.Last change: December 2019
202c Section 1966-09-24
At the turn of 1952/53, a high-wing propulsion engine driven by two NK-4 turboprop engines, which received the designation An-8, was constructed in the team headed by Oleg K. Antonów. NK-4 engines have a power of 3 754 kW (5 100 HP). Serial production started, which lasted until 1955. Most of the machines went to the CCCP military aviation.
An-8 became the ancestor of subsequent versions. As a result of the development of the structure, two planes were created in parallel; passenger An-10 Ukraine and transport An-12. Both prototypes were flown in 1957. The An-12 aircraft made its first flight on December 16, 1957. The production of aircraft began in 1958, because it was not so difficult. The differences between An-8, An-10 and An-12 are small. They were all mounted on the same assembly line. According to available information, 1,248 units were produced for all An-8 / -10 / -12 aircraft.
The An-10 aircraft was shown at the world exhibition Expo-58 in Brussels, where it was awarded a gold medal and diploma.
The An-12 aircraft was equipped with 4 turboprop engines and an additional fifth engine (APU) for loading and unloading landing platforms on board and for supplying avionics electricity when the main engines are off.
The first copies of the aircraft received Kuznetsov NK-4 engines with a reduced power of 4 x 2,944 kW (4 x 4,000 HP), but with an extended service life. Later copies received Ivchenko AI-20 K engines with the same power 4 x 2 944 kW, but with lower fuel consumption. The last produced copies received AI-20 M engines with 4 x 3 128 kW (4 x 4 250 HP). In the event of a failure of one of the engines, the An-12 can continue its flight at 8,000 m, and with the loss of two engines at an altitude of 6,000 m. This is possible due to the good aerodynamics of the airframe.
It is true that CCCP only constructed military aircraft, but the An-12 is typically a military aircraft. It belongs to the offensive weapon system and in 2008 it constituted the core of Russian operational forces. He was a work horse in CCCP and is still in Russia.
The basic purpose of the An-12 aircraft is to transport subunits of airborne troops, including armaments. The second task is to transport platforms with military equipment and drop them on parachutes. In this way, it can be delivered to any region of the world; cannons, combat vehicles, tanks and other equipment in boxes. The last basic task is to transport goods between airports. This list shows that with the help of An-12 aircraft, the Soviets were able to transfer entire divisions or other tactical associations. For a parachute landing or landing landing the aircraft can hold;
- 60 parachutists with equipment.
- 105 soldiers with equipment, i.e. a landing landing.
- 76 wounded, 60 of them on a stretcher, 16 sitting, 9 service people.
- 2 platforms with a capacity of 2 x 3 500 kg and 20 soldiers.
- 1 platform 3,500 kg and 10 tons of cargo.
- 10 tons of parachute droppers.
Landing skydivers can be done in the same way as from smaller and slower planes, i.e. with forced parachute opening. But it can be carried out at a flight speed of 300 - 400 km / h and at higher altitudes. Then the jumps are performed with the feeling of a stabilizing parachute, which is responsible for braking the speed of the jumper and shortening the time spent in the air. Only later the main parachute opens.
Special platforms are used to land heavier equipment. The plane takes on board two such platforms with equipment attached to them with ropes. The platforms have small wheels (rollers) and after opening the rear doors in the air they are extended by a conveyor or a small parachute. The load drops very quickly, thanks to which its accuracy is high. Only later the main parachutes are opened. Their quantity and size depends on the mass of the load. Just before the touchdown itself, a set of two or three small rocket engines is often used, which, when activated for a fraction of a second, decelerate the load. However, the one who would think that this is a soft landing would be wrong. This is how GAZ-69 off-road vehicles, ASU-57 self-propelled gun, anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers can be delivered to the ground.
Heavier equipment is delivered with a landing landing, it can be an ASU-85 armored gun. The plane can land at the captured airport controlled by a parachute landing.
The An-10 Ukraine aircraft is called the civilian An-12 variant. Used to carry 120 passengers or 20,000 kg of cargo. Aeroflot operated these aircraft, and other smaller commercial companies after its collapse. These aircraft serviced and operated routes to the Far East and Siberia. These aircraft also supplied CCCP-Russia overseas research stations. They covered enormously long routes; Moscow-Tashkent-Dheli-Yangon-Dzakarta-Sydney-Crayschurch-Mirny in Antarctica.
Soviet An-10/12, after the rise of Bangladesh from former East Pakistan, transported thousands of people from India on the Calcutta-Rajpur route. In 1966, An-12 aircraft launched the Moscow-Paris freight line, and in 1971, a similar Moscow-Berlin.
The production of An-8 / -10 / -12 and parts thereof was carried out in Irkutsk, Voronezh and Tashkent. By 1972, 262 aircraft in version An-12 B had been built. In addition to the signatory countries of the University of Warsaw (Warsaw system), the aircraft were equipped with India, Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Bangladesh and others. India in December 1971, used An-12 aircraft in the war with Pakistan as bomber aircraft. Several An-12 aircraft India adapted to patrol the Indian Ocean.
The An-12 and Polish soldiers.
For the first time, An-12 aircraft in Poland could be seen during maneuvers under the code name "Baltic" carried out in October 1962. They took place in Poland in Western Pomerania. The 19th Airborne Battalion took part in it among them. It is worth adding that these maneuvers were associated with the Cuban crisis and putting all units under the command of the united forces of the University of Warsaw ready for battle.
Polish soldiers first encountered An-12 in May 1963, when soldiers from the 6th Pomeranian Airborne Division underwent practical training, under the direction of Soviet instructors, in the field of jumping and dropping cargo on board An-8 and An-12 aircraft.
In September 1963, exercises under the code name Quartet were conducted because four countries took part. This time in the southern GDR (German Democratic Republic). 16 Polish Airborne Battalion took part on the Polish side. These large-scale exercises used air transport and combined landing to destroy opponent's tactical class missiles. In the designated area, the Soviet 105 Airborne Regiment with 7th DPD landed on parachutes. Soldiers and landing platforms were landed, among others with ASU-57 guns. They made an all-night march, and at dawn they attacked the positions of the enemy missiles. During the march, they crossed the bridge, which was previously controlled by soldiers from the 5th East Germany Parachute Battalion from Mil Mi-4 helicopters.
Landing of the 6th Pomeranian Airborne Division. 1965.
The 6th Pomeranian Airborne Division was created in June 1957 in Krakow and almost immediately became an elite unit of the Polish Army. The reason was the high level of training of soldiers and the anticipated nature of the actions. It consisted of combat action at the rear of the opponent. Comprehensive training of the soldiers of the Polish division meant that since 1962, the division regularly participated in exercises of the University of Warsaw organized in Poland, East Germany and Czechoslovakia.
On October 19-24, 1965, exercises under the code name October Storm were carried out in East Germany (Thuringia). Four countries took part in it. On the Polish side, 6 PDPD, this time with all my strength. At that time, the division commander was Brigadier General Edwin Rozłubirski. The head of the exercises was the Soviet Army General Paweł Kaszewoj, and the coordinator of the whole operation was Soviet Marshal Andrej Greczko (at that time the commander of the armed forces of the University of Warsaw and later the Minister of Defense of the CCCP). These were the first exercises carried out by the strength of two divisions; 6 PDPD and Soviet 7 DPD. An offensive defensive attack was practiced, i.e. in practice a counterattack against NATO forces that invaded the GDR. The attack of the University of Warsaw was intended to separate the main NATO forces from their base.
The Polish division was loaded on 180 (!) An-12 aircraft. After the take-off there was a gathering in the air and the whole armada set course on Erfurt. The flight lasted about two hours. The landing began on October 21, 1965, around 13:05. 4,130 Polish parachutists landed near the Erfurt airport. There were difficult weather conditions. Gusty wind and fog. Jumping from planes flying at a speed of 320-360 km / h from a height of 800 m, on D-1 landing parachutes with 5 seconds of stabilization. Some have landed in trees or very wetlands. The airport was quickly captured and soon An-12 planes with landing landing began to land on it at intervals of 30 seconds. On board were, among others, GAZ-69 cars with mortars or rocket launchers WP-8, anti-tank ASU-85 guns.
The following story is associated with ASU-85 departments. Apparently, these guns were lent by the Soviet 7th Airborne Division of Kaunas. During the exercises, they were served by Soviet soldiers in Polish uniforms. The sections had checkerboards and 6 PDPD characters. The fact is that this equipment remained in Poland.
It is also worth adding that from 25 ASU-85 guns, in the spring of 1966, 35 Self-Propelled Artillery Squadron was created (4 batteries of 6 guns and commander's gun). This squadron was dissolved in December 1979, and part of its department went to Polish museums.
As we mentioned, 6 PDPD made the landing with all her strength. Only the 9th School Airborne Battalion reached Erfurt by rail (commander Lieutenant Colonel Czesław Miszczak) and secured the landing process of An-12 aircraft.
The airport from which the parachute landing took off was Balice, and the landing landed from the Powidz airport. The commander of the parachute landing was Brigadier General Edwin Rozłubirski, and the landing throw was made by Lieutenant Colonel Tadeusz Ulaniak. The remainder was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Marian Pajor. According to popular opinion, Poles impressed with bravado backed by high skills.
Unfortunately, this landing did not take place without a tragedy. Krzysztof Nadolny from the 10th Airborne Battalion, who performed his 12th jump, died the death of a paratrooper. After leaving the aircraft, he did not release the second level of stabilization, and then opened the spare parachute, which caused his entanglement with the main parachute stabilizer. In contrast, 10 other paratroopers were seriously injured; two spine fractures, one head injury, one collarbone fracture, six lower limb fractures.
In such endeavors, Polish losses proved to be lower than usually estimated (up to 1% of the total landing). 50 beds for Polish soldiers were prepared in the Soviet field hospital for traumatic surgery. After the exercises, a parade took place in Erfurt. 9 School Airborne Battalion marched, and the rest appeared in a circular projection.
It should be added that these events resulted in a film reportage entitled "From the clear sky" Film Company "Czołówka". His copies for many years reminded these events. The video is available on youtube channel (since 2012).
An-12 for Poland. 1966.
In September 1966, the first and, as it turned out, the only An-12 machines were delivered to Poland. On September 24, 1966, the first An-12 No. 6344308 nb 51 landed at the Balice airport, and after five days (September 29, 1966) the second An-12 No. 6344307 nb 50. The aircraft were listed at the 55th Air Transport Regiment. However, already in May 1967, due to the large reorganization of the Polish Military Aviation, this regiment was renamed the 13th Air Transport Regiment. As a curiosity, we'll say that the name Ukraine has been attached to our aircraft.
Already in October 1966, these planes took part in exercises of the University of Warsaw in the Silesian Military District under the code name Autumn. In August 1967, in combined maneuvers of staffs and military units of CCCP, Poland and East Germany, at the training ground Borne-Sulinowo. In 1968, in maritime exercises at the Ustka training ground. In the autumn of 1969, in the Odra-Nysa exercises. One of the airports at which Soviet An-12 was based at that time was the Malbork airport.
Aggression of CCCP and UW countries on Czechoslovakia. 1968.
What was practiced for several years, with the extensive use of An-12 aircraft, with the intention of being used against NATO forces, was practically used against the society of Czechoslovakia during its invasion in 1968.
How did this happen?
On April 4, 1968, Alexander Dubcek became the first party secretary in Czechoslovakia. He wanted to introduce more human socialism. He announced the introduction of multi-party, the abolition of censorship and free elections. Economic reforms and rehabilitation of people repressed by communism were announced. Already on March 23, 1968, at a meeting in Dresden, communist parties and governments; Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, East Germany, Poland, Hungary and the Soviet Union: they are concerned and use the term counterrevolution. The first to speak the word counterrevolution was Leonid Brezhnev, then the first secretary of the Soviet party. On March 30, 1968, the party plenum in Czechoslovakia elects President Ludwik Swoboda as president. The Kremlin is getting more and more nervous. A series of meetings of the University of Warsaw (Warsaw system) is taking place.
From 18.06.-2.07.1968, in the Czechoslovakia, UW exercises were carried out under the code name "Šumava". Initially, they were supposed to be exercises only for the CCCP and Czechoslovakia troops, but the Kremlin's pressure resulted in joining the Polish and Hungarian troops. The exercises were supposed to frighten the Czechoslovak society and be a possible preparation for the planned invasion.
In May 1968, the 24th Guard of the Motorized Rifle Division was regrouped in the vicinity of Cieszyn, Bielsko-Biała and Pszczyna. One of the elements of the exercises was the maneuver under the code name "Cloudy Summer 68", consisting in changing the dislocation of troops. The staff of "Szumawa" and then Operation "Danube" were placed in Legnica, and its commander was Soviet Marshal Ivan Jakubowski.
Future invasion forces were divided into two armies; north army and south army. The north army under the command of the Soviet army general Ivan Pavlov, with the staff in Legnica, was to enter Czechoslovakia from East Germany and Poland, capturing northern and western Czechoslovakia, and especially the Karlovy Vary, Pilsen and Ceske Budejovice regions. Prepared for the action; the Soviet 1st Gwardyj Panzer Army from the GDR area, the Soviet 11th Gwardyj Panzer Army from the GDR area and the 2nd Polish Army consisting of units of the Silesian Military District, under the command of Brigadier General Florian Siwicki. The southern army, commanded by Colonel General Konstantin Prawalov, with a staff in Matyasfold near Budapest, was to invade Hungary, East Germany and Transcarpathian Ukraine, occupying Slovakia and south-central Bohemia with Prague. It included; the Soviet 20 Guards Army from the GDR area, the Soviet 38 Guards Army from the CCCP area, the Soviet 36 Air Army from the territory of Hungary and the Hungarian 8th Motorized Rifle Division from Hungary.
The most mobile part was the landing consisting of; Soviet 7 Guard Airborne Division from Kaunas to master Prague and Soviet 103 Guard Airborne Division from Vitebsk to master Brno. The army of the GDR was separated for invasion; The 7th Panzer Division of Dresden and the 11th Motor Gunner Division of Halle. They were in combat readiness, but did not participate in the invasion, for political reasons. Some high officers physically took part in the invasion, sitting on the staff in Hungary and a group to secure communications from the 2nd Communications Regiment.
On July 14, 1968, five communist parties of the Warsaw University sent a letter to the party and the government of Czechoslovakia. A clear conflict arose between the Kremlin and Prague. On July 29, 1968, a bilateral meeting took place between the Soviets and Czechoslovak politicians. On 3.08.1968, a six-party party meeting was held in Bratislava, as it turned out last before the invasion.
Operation Danube. 20 / 21.08.1968.
The purpose of the military invasion of Czechoslovakia was the Kremlin's capture of major state institutions, including the press, radio and TV, and the abduction of the leaders of the Prague Spring. The decision to invade was made in the Kremlin during a meeting of the CCCP authorities on August 14-17, 1968, and on the day of the attack, the Minister of National Defense of Czechoslovakia issued an order not to resist the invaders.
The main invasion forces consisted of CCCP soldiers. Separate units of Poland, Hungary and probably Bulgaria took part in the invasion. Most soldiers of the Polish Army had no idea about the planned invasion. The attack took part; 750,000 soldiers, 630 tanks and 800 aircraft, mainly transport An-12. 26,000 soldiers with equipment were sent from Poland. About 200 people were killed. This invasion is considered the largest military operation in Europe after World War II.
One of the episodes.
During the reign of communism, the day of aviation in Poland was August 23. As every year, in many cities people were preparing to celebrate this holiday. In mid-August 1968, a dozen or so Lim aircraft were collected at Balice airport to celebrate the event being prepared at the Czyżyny airport. Pilots of these aircraft practiced field orientation and ripped flight patterns. However, on August 20, 1968, scheduled flights were not taken, although the weather was typically airborne. Pilots and their planes were waiting. In the early afternoon, a four-engine transport plane appeared near Balice, which landed after making the circle. He wheeled at the end of the runway (RWY) and stood on the grass. There was no doubt that it was Soviet An-12. Gray with large red stars on the vertical tail and a large two-digit number on the fuselage. A window was opened in the cockpit, through which an officer leaned his head, and was holding a microphone in his hand. He looked toward the glide path. A noise of the engines of the next An-12 aircraft increased. The aircraft landed in succession and lined up evenly on the grass in the northern part of the airport. As it turned out, the Soviets did not establish any contact with the guidance center in Balice. They came down themselves.
In total, around 25 aircraft landed at Balice airport. The engines were turned off, the propellers stopped, but the charging was not opened. There was still noise from the planes. Fifth engines (APU) worked to supply electricity, mainly for communication systems. Only the side doors of the aircraft were opened, the ladders were extended and a few soldiers inspected their machines. The planes had muddy tires, which meant that they were taking off from the airport with a dirt strip. Antennas for long-range communications were set up. Refueling aircraft were requested, which due to their number lasted several hours. Soviet soldiers behaved very freely. They were joking and laughing. They smoked cigarettes, even while refueling. Some were sitting on the wings. They did not engage in discussions, but pushed them away. Anyway, reaching their planes required crossing the runway. Practically, only fuel tanker cars appeared at their planes. Their departure took place after 22.00. Where? To Czechoslovakia.
Participation of the Polish Army.
For Poland, participation in the aggression against Czechoslovakia began on August 20, 1968, at 23:40, when General Florian Siwicki was ordered by the Soviets to cross the border with Czechoslovakia. At 23:50, nine commandos from the Independent Assault Battalion captured the watchtower in Lubawka, without a single shot. They were the first to enter the territory of an independent state. Polish tanks and transporters set off towards Hradec Králové. Tactical numbers were invisible and white lines were painted on lime hulls.
Further consequences of the attack on Czechoslovakia.
On August 22, 1968, an illegal congress of the CPCZ party took place under the Kremlin's dictation. On August 23-26, 1968, representatives of Czechoslovakia were forced to "normalize" in the Kremlin in exchange for ending the occupation. Eventually, pro-Moscow forces managed to oust Alexander Dubcek from power and in 1969, he was sent as an ambassador to Turkey. There were purges in the party and the army.
Exploitation of An-12 in Poland.
In November and December 1973, planes began to carry soldiers of the 1st shift of the Polish Military Special Unit of Emergency Armed Forces of the United Nations in the Middle East. The first flight in this mission was performed by the An-12 aircraft on November 13, 1973, transferring a logistics group consisting of 10 officers, 3 NCO drivers and 3 GAZ-69 cars. From November 16, 1973, Polish soldiers began to be transported to Cairo on board An-12, mainly with 6 PDPDs. Equipment, food, firewood, Star 660 cars, GAZ-69 and other equipment were transported. During the period from November 13, 1973 to December 12, 1973, they maintained an almost regular air bridge between Krakow and Cairo. Flights were made without stopovers along the Krakow-Budapest-Belgrade-Skopie-Thessaloniki-Crete-Cairo route. On average, on the ceiling of 7,600 m at a speed of 560 km / h, which allowed to overcome this route in 5 hours 20 minutes.
For some time (1967), An-12 aircraft also provided services to the national economy. These flights were carried out on behalf of PLL LOT, as charter flights, civil. At that time, the aircraft received civilian registrations SP-LZA, SP-LZB and apparently SP-LZC. Chessboards were painted on the hulls, wings and vertical tail. Registrations were carried out, and the PLL LOT logo and the white and red flag were painted on the vertical tail. Heavy loads were transported in this way to Astrakhan, Hanoi, Cairo, London, Benghazi, Rome, Venice, Tokyo and others.
It is known exactly that the An-12 nb 50 aircraft flew as SP-LZA in LOT in June and July 1967, and then from August 1976, until the crash of May 13, 1977.
Polish An-12 plane crash. 1977.
On 13.05.1977, the An-12 SP-LZA nb 50 aircraft No. 6344307 flew on the route Rzeszów-Beirut (capital of Lebanon). Approaching the landing at the airport in Beirut, which lies in the Khalden district, it crashed around 8:45 local time. Beirut Airport is the only civilian port in Lebanon. The entire crew was killed, nine people. The plane was carrying a load of strawberries to Lebanon. The command issued by the ground control in Beirut to go to the designated glide track for linguistic reasons was repeated twice. Soon the contact with the plane was lost. The machine hit a mountain slope at an altitude of 700 meters, 8 km from the airport. Town of Aramousz (Armroussieh).
Why? The matter is still unclear to this day, and its backstage is hidden. Everything secret by confidential. Of course, one can accept the thesis about crew error and a blow up, were it not for the photo we discovered a few years ago on the web.
Undoubtedly, these are the remains of Polish An-12, just what they do in the tail of these three large holes, as if after bullets.
Then, in our environment, everyone was saying that the plane was shot down. One should know that in the years 1975-1990, there was a civil war in Lebanon in which Syria and Israel were also involved. The second aspect is the matter of transported cargo. Local news was that the plane was carrying weapons. If so, then we got involved in an unsolvable conflict from which our nation had nothing but tears for loved ones.
Will we ever know the whole truth, or will we continue to swim in guesses and clues? I am afraid that the lack of de-communization and lustration strengthened the shadows of the Polish People's Republic, and various commercial means of communication have food and feed the public with sensation.
Crew; captain (first pilot) lieutenant colonel pilot Tadeusz Florek, lieutenant colonel pilot Henryk Bajer, lieutenant colonel navigator Jan Kowalik, lieutenant colonel Jerzy Grzywalski, major Adam Rybak, captain Janusz Lech, ensign Kazimierz Krupa, NN, NN. Honor their memory!
Further fate of the An-12 SP-LZB aircraft.
In the 80s, the only remaining An-12 in Polish Aviation served exclusively as an aircraft operated by PLL LOT.
At the end of 80 years, the new management of LOT Polish Airlines decided to get rid of uneconomic Soviet aircraft. The same fate must have happened to An-12 SP-LZB. In 1993, its sale was finalized to the Bulgarian company, which operated several An-12 aircraft. Our aircraft, as an LZ-SFS, began service in Bulgaria.
Versions An-8 / -10 / -12
- An-8 - version powered by 2 turboprop engines.
- An-10 - transport and passenger version powered by 4 turboprop engines.
- An-12 - basic landing aircraft.
- An-12 A - received AI-20 A engines. Fuel tanks increased. The standard capacity has increased to 20,000 kg, as the cargo floor has been strengthened.
- An-12 B - the fuel tanks have once again been increased to 18,000 liters. Modified AI-20 M engines were used. Higher power winch was used.
- An-12 BP - it's An-12 B for maritime aviation. A rescue boat appeared in the equipment.
- An-12 BPŁ - is An-12 BP adapted to operate in polar areas behind a fixed landing gear with skids.
- An-12 T - specialized version for the transport of rocket fuel.
- An-12 BM - a specialized version for satellite communication tests.
- An-12 PS - search and rescue version equipped with a small rescue vessel.
- An-12 PP / PPS - reconnaissance and WRe versions.
- An-12 - flying command post.
- An-12 BK - modernized An-12 B.
- Y-8 - copied in China An-12 (without license rights). In the years 1974-2006, about 650 pieces were built.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman