Red Star Volume 12
By Yefim Gordon, Dmitriy Komissarov, and Sergey Komissarov
Midland Publishing, 2003
Softbound, 128 Pages
Available from Specialty Press for $ 29.95
The twelfth book in the Red Star series by Midland Publishing continues with the An-24, An-26, An-30 and An-32 coverage. This cargo and civilian family of aircraft as well as military versions eventually evolved into a rugged plane that could handle just about anything. Originally conceived as a feeder airliner seating 44 passengers, the aircraft went on to become a major player in the cargo arena of not just the Soviet and Eastern Bloc countries but some cargo carriers in the West as well.
The book starts with a short introduction of what led to the development of the family. Chapter 1 begins with "The Father of a Family", the An-24 series. The development and production of this type is well covered, including engine development and the first examples of a micro-ejector de-icing system. In addition to the standard version, VIP and other modifications are also covered, including the Chinese Xian Y7 variants. Following the basic An-24 came the An-26, the first purpose-built military version. This version added a rear cargo door that greatly improved its military capabilities. Like the section on the An-24, the An-26 section includes information on the many variants created off the basic model.
While the An-26 was a small modification of the An-24, the An-30 was an extensive modification. Commonly referred to as the "Big Head Antonov," this aircraft developed from the dedicated An-24 photo-mapping aircraft. This version had a redesigned nose that featured a large transparent nose section and a raised cockpit section. The An-30 evolved like the earlier An-24/26, with most variants aimed at either photo mapping or other aerial research.
The final variant covered, the An-32, evolved from the An-26 to a specification set forth by requirements of the Indian Air Force. These specifications required high-altitude performance, which the An-26 could not meet. Antonov OKB stepped up and redesigned the basic aircraft to utilize the Ivchenko AI-20D turboprop engine. This resulted in larger propellers used, which necessitated a relocation of the engine to the top of the wing instead of the bottom, creating a very different look.
All of these variants are well documented in the text, including both military and civil service. Spread throughout the book are lots of excellent, never before published, photos. Topping off the selection is a limited set of general arrangement drawings illustrating some of the variants. This is an excellent edition in the Red Star series and should be welcome in the libraries of military and civil aviation aficionados alike.
AirlinerCafe.com would like to thank Specialty Press for the complimentary review sample. Be sure to visit [url=http://www.specialtypress.com]their website[/url] for the entire Red Star line, including this title.
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