Ukrainian airlifter specialist Antonov has completed the major fuselage structure for the first An-178 military cargo aircraft.
On Thursday, the Antonov rolled out the first fuselage for the advanced version of its new cargo plane in AN-178-100P configuration. The new aircraft developed for the Ukrainian Air Force.
Ukrainian Air Force has awarded the Antonov company a contract to developed and deliver three new AN-178-100P military transport planes in December, 2020.
The new AN-178-100P is an advanced version of the AN-178 platform designed to replace aging Soviet-made An-12 and An-26 military transport aircraft.
The new mid-range military transport aircraft will deliver a combination of robust performance and lower operating costs. The AN-178-100P offers highlights such as a maximum cruise speed of up to 825 km/h and a maximum range of 4200 km.
With a maximum payload of up to 18 tonnes and a volume of 167 m3 (without cargo ramp 122 m3), the AN-178-100P can carry numerous pieces of outsize cargo, including vehicles and trucks that are too large or too heavy for previous generation tactical airlifters.
According to Antonov company, the unique feature of the AN-178 is the ability to carry all the types of the existing packaged freights (containerized and palletized ones), including high-capacity 1C containers (sea containers) with lateral sizes of 2,44х2,44 m. This makes it an indispensable transport to provide logistic support in commercial operations and in operations under emergency situations.
The new plane has been designed to move freight quickly and effectively, the cargo floor has built-in rollers and equipped with two electric winches with a tractive force of 1000 kg for loading of non-self-propelled wheeled cargoes.
Antonov says the AN-178 enables to perform of airdropping of cargo and vehicles weighing up to 7.5 t.
When configured to carry troops, AN-178-100P will be able to accommodate up to 90 soldiers or 70 paratroopers. The cargo cabin also allows configurations for transporting the wounded or sick (48 wounded on stretchers + 15 at the seat or 8 medical modules), on Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions.
Equipped with D-436-148FM jet engines, the AN-178 was designed based on earlier versions and its airframe and on-board equipment are 50-60% unified with the AN-148 and AN-158 aircraft.