Design and developmentEdit
The first prototype flew in March 1957. Over 900 had been built, in both military and civilian versions, before production finally ended in 1973. The An-12BP entered Soviet military service in 1959. In terms of configuration, size and capability, the aircraft is similar to the United States-built Lockheed C-130 Hercules. Military Soviet planes have a defensive tail gun turret.
In the 1960s, China purchased several An-12 aircraft from the Soviet Union, along with license to assemble the aircraft locally. However, due to the Sino-Soviet split, the Soviet Union withdrew its technical assistance. It wasn't until 1974, when the first Chinese-assembled An-12 had its maiden flight. The Xi'an Aircraft Company and Xi'an Aircraft Design Institute worked to reverse engineer the An-12 for local production. 
By 1981, the Chinese copy version of An-12, named Yun-8 (Y-8) entered serial production. Since then, the Y-8 has become one of China's most popular military and civilian transport/cargo aircraft, with many variants produced and exported. Although the An-12 is no longer made in Russia or Ukraine, the Chinese Y-8 continues to be upgraded and produced. The latest Y-8-F600 is a joint venture between Shaanxi Aircraft Company, Antonov Aeronautical Scientific-Technical Complex (ASTC), and Pratt & Whitney Canada. The Y-8-F600 has redesigned fuselage, western avionics, PW150B turboprop engine with an R-408 propeller system, and 2-man glass cockpit. 
- An-12B : Civilian transport version.
- An-12BP : Military transport version.
- An-12 Cub-A : Electronic intelligence version.
- An-12 Cub-B : Electronic intelligence version.
- An-12 Cub-C : Electronic countermeasures version.
In August 2006 a total of 179 Antonov An-12 aircraft remain in airline service. Major operators include: Air Guinee (4), Alada (5), British Gulf International Airlines (7), Avial Aviation (4), Heli Air Service (4), Scorpion Air (4), Tiramavia (4), Aerovis Airlines (5), Veteran Airlines (4), KNAAPO (5), Vega Airlines (6) ATRAN Cargo Airlines (4) and Volare Airlines (6). Some 77 other airlines operate smaller numbers of the type.
- Ghana Airways The sole An-12 was delivered in October 1961, registered as 9G-AZZ. Withdrawn from use in 1962 and returned to Soviet Union in 1963.
- SriLankan Cargo
- The Afghan Air Force operated 12 from 1981 through 2001.
- Bangladesh Air Force operated from 1973 to 1980s, now all retired
- Czechoslovakian Air Force : Czechoslovakia's fleet numbering two was passed to the Czech Republic upon split with Slovakia. All CzAF An-12s were phased-out of active service in the 1990s.
- The Indian Air Force inducted the first of these aircraft in 1961, when it raised No.44 Squadron "The Himalayan Geese". Six of these aircraft soon took part in airlifting army reinforcements during the 62 War to Ladakh. Subsequently the An-12 was used to raise No.25 Squadron. The An-12s were also used as Heavy bombers during the 71 War. All IAF An-12s were phased-out of active service in the 1990s. One of them is preserved at the IAF museum in Palam, New Delhi.
- The Soviet fleet was dispersed among many of the Soviet Union's successor states.
- Soviet Air Force
- Soviet Naval Aviation
The Fairchild C-123 Provider is a twin-engined military transport aircraft produced by the US American manufacturer Fairchild Aircraft, developed by Chase Aircraft.
Propulsion 2 Radial Engines Engine Model Pratt & Whitney R-2800-99W Double Wasp Engine Power (each) 1715 kW 2300 hp
Speed 367 km/h 198 kts
Service Ceiling 8.839 m 29.000 ft Range 2.367 km 1.278 NM 1.471 mi.
Empty Weight 13.562 kg 30.000 lbs max. Takeoff Weight 27.216 kg 60.000 lbs
Wing Span 33,53 m 110,0 ft Wing Area 113,6 m² 1223 ft² Length 23,09 m 75,8 ft Height 10,39 m 34,1 ft
In popular cultureEdit
In the 2005 movie Lord of War, the main character Yuri Orlov, played by Nicolas Cage, commonly uses an Antonov An-12 to transport weapons, and is later said to have "a fleet" of such planes. Andrew Niccol, the director of Lord of War, stated that they actually used one of Viktor Bout's An-12 aircraft in the movie.
- Pictures of An-12
- An-12 specifications compared next to other air cargo aircraft
- Hundreds of An-12 photos