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29th of October 1959

It was on this day in aviation history that the Antonov An-24 took to the skies over the Soviet Union.

An An-24B

The Antonov An-24 was created on the drawing boards at Antonov Design Bureau in the mid to late 50s of the previous century. Initial production was by the Kyivm, Irkutsk, and Ulan-Ude Aviation Factories.

The aircraft was designed as a replacement for the piston-powered Ilyushin Il-14 Aircraft for transport up to medium-length routes. A design consideration was the suitability of the aircraft to operate van unprepared rough runways in the remote regions of the Soviet Union. this resulted in a robust design with a high mounted wing which gives good clearance of the props and engine inlet. The aircraft has an impressive power-to-weight ratio. The design was such that the aircraft needs hardly any ground equipment.

An Antonov A-24T of the Russian Air Force

The qualities of the aircraft led to an impressive list of subvariants, a total of 27 different variants have been designed since the first flight, some examples;

  • An-24 (4 built) Prototypes

  • An-24A First production version

  • An-24B The second production version, with an additional cabin window on each side of the fuselage

  • An-24T Tactical transport version

  • An-24V-II An export version of the An24, deliverable in different configurations - 50 seat passenger - Combi passenger / cargo - Full freighter version

Besides the different versions of the An-24 being developed it also served as the basis for the development of other aircraft.

  • An-26 Tactical transport aircraft

  • An-30 Photo-mapping and survey aircraft

  • An-32 Tactical transport aircraft

  • An-50 1960's project to power the aircraft with 4 jets

The aircraft would be built at 3 different factories, with a total of 1285 airframes being built when the production in the Soviet Union was shut down in 1978.

Three view drawing of the An-24

A variant is still being built in China by the Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation, the reverse-engineered the An-24 and market the aircraft as the Xian Y-7, which has now been upgraded with western engines and avionics and is now marketed as the MA60

Specifications of the Antonov An-24B;

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3

  • Capacity: 50 passengers

  • Length: 23.53 m (77 ft 2 in)

  • Wingspan: 29.20 m (95 ft 10 in)

  • Height: 8.32 m (27 ft 4 in)

  • Wing area: 74.98 m2 (807.1 sq ft)

  • Empty weight: 13,300 kg (29,321 lb)

  • Max takeoff weight: 21,000 kg (46,297 lb)

  • Fuel capacity: 5,550 L (1,470 US gal; 1,220 imp gal)

  • Powerplant: 2 × Ivchenko AI-24A turboprop engines, 1,900 kW (2,550 shp) each (eshp)

  • Propellers: 4-bladed AV-72 constant-speed propellers, 3.90 m (12 ft 10 in) diameter


  • Cruise speed: 450 km/h (280 mph, 240 kn) at 6,000 m (20,000 ft)

  • Range: 2,400 km (1,500 mi, 1,300 nmi) with maximum fuel 550 km (340 mi; 300 nmi) with maximum payload

  • Service ceiling: 8,400 m (27,600 ft)

  • Rate of climb: 1.91 m/s (375 ft/min)

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