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Ukraine may restart Soviet-era An-74 production

written by Hannah Dowling | January 19, 2021

Ukraine has stated it may resume production of the unique Antonov-74 aircraft after nearly 17 years, in order to supply the plane to the country’s armed forces.

The Soviet-era An-74 is a short-to-medium range light transport cargo and passenger aircraft, which made its debut flight in 1979.

A total of 62 An-74 aircraft were produced between 1985 and 2004, when production ceased. The plane is still utilised by several civilian and military operators around the globe.

The plane was initially designated the An-72A for “Arctic”, and was an upgrade of the An-72, built as a test aircraft for use in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

The An-74 is made unique by its engines, perched above the wings to provide high-speed air even at lower flying speeds.

The unusual position of the engines earned both the An-72 and the An-74 their nickname of Cheburashka by locals, after a popular Soviet animated mouse.

The deal will be important for the former Soviet and now state-owned Antonov, which designed the world’s largest transport aircraft, the An-225.

Plane manufacturing has all but stopped in the Ukraine for many years, due to a worsening economic crisis in the region and the severing of relations with Russia, where many parts were produced.


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