Czech Air Force AN-26

The An-26 is a development of An-24. One of the main modifications was a rear loading ramp.

More than 1,100 of this versatile transport aircraft were built before production ended in 1978. The An-26, has many of the same features as the An-24.

The An-26 by Antonov is designed for tactical transport of passengers and material on short and medium distances.


It has a large rear loading ramp to facilitate loading of cargoes. The engines are more powerful in comparison with the An-24. A pressurised cabin makes it possible to fly at high levels.

It has fairly modern navigation and communication devices, an ADF automatic radio direction finder, DME distance measuring system, marker and ILS/GS instrument landing system, and a radio altimeter. The avionics and instrumentation permits all-weather operation and safe landing. The An-26Z version is fitted with special devices and instrumentation for air reconnaissance and control of combat activities.

After successful operations of the An-24T tactical transport in austere locations, interest in a version with a retractable cargo ramp increased. Initial studies for the retractable ramp were carried out as part of the projected An-40 medium transport. When given the go-ahead for the An-26 in March 1968 the Antonov OKB adapted the ramp design of the An-40 to the An-24 fuselage, thus was born the An-26. Particular attention was given to the military mission and the majority of early An-26 production was delivered to the VT-A.

Using the majority of the An-24 airframe, with its high-set cantilevered wings, twin turboprops and stalky main undercarriage, the An-26 included military equipment, such as tip-up paratroop canvas seats, overhead travelling hoist, bulged observation windows and parachute static line attachment cables. The An-26 made its public debut at the 27th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget where the second prototype, CCCP-26184 (c/n00202), was shown in the static aircraft park.

AN-26 Specifications
Type Tactical transport
Manufacturer Antonov
Accommodation Two pilots, flight engineer, navigator, radio operator, plus loadmaster. Seating for up to 40 troops or 24 stretcher patients
Armament None
Performance Cruising speed 275mph (440km/h)
Wing Span 95ft 9in (29.2m)
Length 78ft 1in (23.8m)
Height 27ft 3in (8.32m)
Weight payload 12,000lb (5,500kg), weight empty 33,110lb (15,020kg)
Powerplant Two Progress AI-24VT turboprops, 2,820 shp (2,100 kW) each