Ukraine aircraft developer and manufacturer Antonov has made its name in world aviation for their mighty AN-225 and AN-124 freighters. In comparison to these giants standing at the upper end of their production series the company has now completed test flights with their latest product, the dwarf-like AN-2-100 biplane.
The aircraft is a modification of the world’s largest biplane, the Antonov AN-2. During a test flight conducted at the company’s test base at Kyiv airfield the propeller driven tiny aircraft
lifted cargo shipments weighing a total of 3,202 kilograms to an altitude of 2,700 meters – an almost sensational new flight and performance record for such kind aircraft. This is all the more
remarkable given the fact that the new AN-2 derivative is designed for transporting a payload of no more than 1,500kg. However, the test flight has proven that the small freighter seems to be
capable of shouldering twice as much weight. Should successive test flights prove the result of the first series it could well be that the licensing authority might give green light for operating
the freighter with a higher payload.
But even so, the AN-2-100 biplane might land Antonov a place in the Guinness Book of Records, although the company’s aim is of pure commercial character: to sell it to airlines with demand for small freighters ideal for transporting goods on local routes. In addition, the manufacturer offers their AN-2-100 also in a passenger version (12 seats) or as mixed cargo-pax variant.
In a statement, Antonov says that the main difference between the AN-2-100 and its predecessor AN-2 is in a power plant with a MC-14 turboprop engine, designed and produced by Ukraine’s Motor
Sich Public Joined Stock Company, one of the largest engine manufacturers for airplanes and helicopters worldwide. According to Antonov, The advantage of this replacement is the substitution of
aviation gasoline with aviation kerosene. The AN-2-100 aircraft profitability consequently rises significantly.
The new aircraft was named “Henrih Ongirskii” in honour of H.H. Ongirskii (1939-2012), Deputy General Designer of Antonov Company, who made a great contribution to the AN-2 and AN-3 development program.
Antonov completes another “Heavy Lift Operation”
Simultaneously, things seem to be going well for Antonov’s heavy lift services as well. A new unique on-board crane system ensured that Antonov could load, transport and unload three large compressors each weighing 23 tons on-board of one of the company’s seven AN-124-100 freighters.
The three compressors were loaded at their base at London Stansted Airport and were flown to Incheon Airport, Seoul, Korea.
Special modified crates were designed for the machines which were almost 6.5 meters in length and 3.6 meters high.
Antonov uses a special on-board adapter on their AN-124s which allows them to extend the lift of their crane system by 10 tons thereby giving the system a lift capacity of 30 tons.
Heiner Siegmund / John Mc Donagh