In the conditions of modern wars, the mobility of units, that is, their ability to redeploy, is of decisive importance. The solution of this problem as a whole is entrusted to military transport aviation as the most mobile mode of transport. The latest developments of aircraft of this type in the world are the Airbus A400 and An-70 Antonov Design Bureau.
History of Creation
These two very similar aircraft Airbus A400 and An-70, created under interstate agreements, have a very different fate. Work on the Antonov aircraft began much earlier, back in 1976, when it became clear that the current trend towards increasing the dimensions of the transported equipment could become a serious problem in the future. An additional requirement was to provide short takeoffs and landings at unequipped airfields. It took a lot of time to formulate these requirements, which were finally approved only 10 years later. The plane made its first flight in 1994 in Kyiv. As for the Airbus A400, the decision to create it was first made in 1982, but then was canceled. Agreement between participating countrieswas again concluded only in 2003, and this “truck” made its first flight at the end of 2009. That is, from the real start of work to take-off in Ukraine, 8 years passed, in Europe - 6 years. Further, the paths and fates of the aircraft diverged greatly. The Airbus A400 passed a full range of tests, received a certificate and began to enter the armies of NATO countries in 2013, by mid-2018, 66 aircraft had already been delivered and more than 170 more were ordered.
An-70 aircraft has become one of the victims of interstate relations. Several times Russia and Ukraine decided to continue its development, then the agreements were either simply not implemented, or there was not enough funding, or other factors came into play. After 2014, the topic was actually closed. As a result, there is a single copy of the An-70 aircraft, which entered the balance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, without having passed the test cycle to the end, and several gliders in a semi-dismantled state at the Kiev Aviant plant. The fates of the Airbus A400 and An-70 are indeed radically different.
The main characteristics of the Airbus A400 and An-70 aircraft are summarized in the table.
|Indicator and unit of measurement||An-70||Airbus A400|
|Max. take-off weight, tons||135||141|
|Flight range from 20 t, km||6600||6400|
|Max. carrying capacity, tons||47||37|
|The length of the plane,meters||40, 73||45, 1|
|Wingspan, meters||44, 06||42, 4|
|Engine power, l. s.||4 x 13880||4 x 11000|
|Takeoff run, meters||600||1100|
Even outwardly, these two aircraft are similar, like twin brothers. But unlike the Airbus A400, the An-70 is equipped with a propfan power plant with coaxial propellers. The principle of obtaining additional lift by blowing the wing with a stream from the propellers of the engine has been implemented, due to which excellent takeoff and landing characteristics have been achieved. Both the Airbus A400 and the An-70 have a “glass cockpit”, the concept of digital data transmission is fully implemented, and all systems have been installed that allow flying on international airlines. In general, Ukrainian designers still have serious suspicions that the creation of the Airbus A400 was not without industrial espionage on the part of European partners. It is a pity that the aircraft with excellent potential, which many factories and design bureaus of the former USSR worked on, could not take its rightful place in the sky.