Antonov An-12 "Cub" General
Antonov An-12 "Cub"
Military Transport aircraft
NATO Reporting Name

Antonov An-12 Cub
Antonov An-12 / Shaanxi Y-8 Program Milestones
First Flight An-12
March, 1957
First Flight An-12B
Late 1961
Production started (12B)
An-12 In service since
In service with
Soviet Air Force
Production Ended
First Flight Prototype Xi'an
December 25, 1974
First Flight Prototype Y-8
December 29, 1975

Antonov An-12 Aircraft Dimensions
Wing Span
124 feet 8 inch (38,00)
108 feet 7 inch (33,10 m)
34 feet 6 inch (10,53 m)
Wing Area
1.310 square feet

Antonov An-12 Weights & Performance
Empty Weight
61,729 lb (28,000 kg)
Maximum Payload
44,090 lb (20,000 kg)
Normal Take-off Weight
121,475 lb (55,100 kg)
Maximum Take-off Weight
134,480 lb (61.000 kg)

Antonov An-12 Performance
Normal Cruise Speed
342 mph (550 km/h)
Maximum Cruise Speed
373 mph (600 km/h)
33.465 feet (10.200 m)
Typical Range
2.113 nautical miles

Antonov An-12 Powerplant
Ivchenko Al 20k turboprops
2.983 ekW
Prices all variants - ($ in Millions)
Model out of production - no prices current

Antonov An-12 General Information
The Antonov An-12 design program was initiated in the 1950's in order to fulfill a Soviet Air Force requirement for a mid-sized turboprop cargo aircraft. The four engined An-12 was simultaneously build with the commercial transport version, the An-10. In March 1957, the first prototype flew and entered service with the air force only two years later in 1959.

The An-12 can be compared to the U.S. built Lockheed C-130 Hercules and is almost similar in terms of size, capability and configuration. Unlike the C-130 Hercules, the An-12 has no pressurized cargo hold nor does it have a rear loading ramp. Later versions introduced a new designed rear fuselage that incorporated such a platform and allowed for direct loading.

The flight crew of the Antonov An-12 consists of 5 crew members; two pilots, one flight engineer, one navigator and one radio operator. The navigator position is located in the glazed dome underneath the cockpit. The An-12 can seat up to a maximum of 14 passengers plus freight with military versions seating up to 90 passengers.

Military versions of the An-12 used to be equipped with two 23mm cannons (Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23) which were located in the tail turret. Aircraft currently in service often have these gunner positions faired over.

Just like the Hercules, several variants of the An-12 have been designed and build. The most notable platforms being the "Electronic Intelligence" (Elint) version ("Cub-A/B") and the "Electronic Countermeasures" version ("Cub-C/D"). More information regarding these versions can be found here.

In total, over 1200 Antonov An-12 have been manufactured.

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Shaanxi Y-8
After production of the An-12 was terminated, assembling licences were purchased by China in order to assemble the aircraft locally. The aircraft was initially designed and built by the Xi'an Aircraft Company, that had their prototype flying in late 1974, but was transferred to the Shaanxi Aircraft Company in 1972. Its first prototype flew on December 29 1975 and incorporated major changes compared to the original An-12 and was named the Shaanxi Y-8. These changes incorporated a longer nose similar to those fitted on the "Badger" and the use of a gaseous oxygen system as opposed to a liquid oxygen system.

After completing 66 test flights, the Y-8 was officially certified and entered serial production in 1981. As with the An-12, several versions have been built. The Y-8A was primarily used for helicopter transports and was optimized for transportation of Sikorsky S-70s to remote areas. In cooperation with Lockheed, two civil versions designated Y-8B and Y-8C were built. The latter having a completely pressurized cabin while the Y-8B had half of the cabin pressurized compared to the Y-8C.

In 2001 and 2002, Antonov and Shaanxi put up new consulting arrangements which eventually led to redesigns of the Y-8's wing and fuselage allowing its fuel capacity to be increased by 50 percent. Overal, around 75 Y-8 aircraft have been manufactured.

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Antonov An-12 Versions

The Cub-A version of the An-12 has been the standard Soviet military paratroop and freight transport aircraft for many years, from 1959. 'Cub-As' were capable of carrying two full army divisions at peak strength over a radius of more than 650 nautical miles. In 1982, approximately 400 aircraft were redesignated as An-12BP in the USSR and continued service with the VTA (Military Transport Aviation) force, although replacement with the Il-76s started in 1974. Cub-A models were equipped with a tail gunner position. However, in the refined commercial version, demonstrated at the 1965 Paris Air Show, the turret is removed and replaced by a streamline fairing.
The Cub-B version of the -12 is a conversion of the 'Cub-A' model and was specifically designed for electronic intelligence (elint) duties with the Soviet Naval Air Force. The aircraft has four additional blister fairings under foward- and centre-fuselage, plus other antenna. Only a few have been produced.
Approximately 30 'Cub-C' aircraft have been utilized by the Soviet Air Force and Navy for ECM duties. The aircraft has a 'solid' fuselage tailcone, which houses electronic equipment instead of the additional gunner position. Furthermore, the -C has additional electronic pods faired into the foward fuselage and ventral surfaces.
The Y-8 is build in China, at the Hanzhong factory near Xian and is based on the Antonov An-12BP version. More information about this version is found within this article.