Antonov Airlines (ADB, Gostomel) has resumed commercial An-22 operations following the return to service of UR-09307 (cn 043481244) late last month. The Antonov Design Bureau (Gostomel) subsidiary says the freighter was recently returned to a state of airworthiness following a protracted period in storage.
Though the 42 year-old turboprop did return to the skies as early as February, its first commercial flight - Gostomel to Leipzig/Halle - only took place on June 30.
Antonov Airlines says it decided to resume An-22 operations following strong interest in the type's capabilities from customers around the world. Equipped with four Kuznetsov NK-12MA powerplants each driving a pair of contra-rotating propellers, the An-22 is the world's largest turboprop-powered aircraft. Originally designed for the Soviet military, it is capable of ferrying loads of 60 tonnes up to 5,000 kilometres.
The Ukrainian out-sized freight specialist also operates two An-12s, one An-26, one An-74T, seven An-124s, two An-148-100s, and one An-225.