Antonov Aircraft Company

Antonov Aircraft Company

Antonov State Company, formerly the Aeronautical Scientific-Technical Complex named Antonov (Antonov ASTC) (Ukrainian: Авіаційний науково-технічний комплекс імені Антонова, (АНТК ім. Антонова)), and earlier the Antonov Design Bureau, is a Soviet, and later a Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing and services company. Antonov’s particular expertise is in the fields of very large aeroplanes and aeroplanes using unprepared runways. Antonov (model prefix An-) has built a total of approximately 22,000 aircraft, and thousands of its planes are currently operating in the former Soviet Union and in developing countries.

Antonov StC is a state-owned commercial company. Its headquarters and main industrial grounds were originally located in Novosibirsk, and were later transferred to Kiev. On 12 May 2015 it was transferred from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to the Ukroboronprom (Ukrainian Defense Industry).

In June 2016, Ukraine’s major state-owned arms manufacturer Ukroboronprom announced the creation of the Ukrainian Aircraft Corporation within its structure, to combine all aircraft manufacturing enterprises in Ukraine.

Antonov History
Foundation and relocation

The company was established in 1946 at the Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association as the top-secret Soviet Research and Design Bureau No. 153. It was headed by Oleg Antonov and specialised in turboprop military transport aircraft. The An-2 biplane was a major achievement of this period, with hundreds of these aircraft still operating as of 2013.[5] In 1952, the Bureau was relocated to Kiev, a city with a rich aviation history and an aircraft-manufacturing infrastructure restored after the destruction caused by World War II.
First serial aircraft and expansion
An-12, Cold War-era tactical transport, in flight.
47-year-old An-12 still in operational condition in 2011.

The 1957 introduction of the An-10/An-12 family of mid-range turboprop aeroplanes began the successful production of thousands of these aircraft. Their use for both heavy combat and civilian purposes around the globe continues to the present; the An-10/An-12 were used most notably in the Vietnam War, the Soviet–Afghan War and the Chernobyl disaster relief megaoperation.

In 1959, the bureau began construction of the separate Flight Testing and Improvement Base in suburban Hostomel (now the Antonov Airport).

In 1965, the Antonov An-22 heavy military transport entered serial production to supplement the An-12 in major military and humanitarian airlifts by the Soviet Union. The model became the first Soviet wide-body aircraft, and it remains the world’s largest turboprop-powered aircraft. Antonov designed and presented a nuclear-powered version of the An-22. It was never flight tested.

In 1966, after the major expansion in the Sviatoshyn neighbourhood of the city, the company was renamed to another disguise name: “Kiev Mechanical Plant”. Two independent aircraft production and repair facilities, under engineering-supervision of the Antonov Bureau, also appeared in Kiev during this period.
Prominence and Antonov’s retirement
Antonov An-24, the Soviet Union’s most common regional airliner.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, the company established itself as USSR’s main designer of military transport aircraft with dozens of new modifications in development and production. After Oleg Antonov’s death in 1984, the company was officially renamed as the Research and Design Bureau named after O.K. Antonov (Russian: Опытно-конструкторское бюро имени О.К. Антонова) while continuing the use of “Kiev Mechanical Plant” alias for some purposes.
Late Soviet-era: superlarge projects and first commercialisation
An-225 is the largest operating aircraft in the world.

In the late 1980s, the Antonov Bureau achieved global prominence after the introduction of its extra large aeroplanes. The An-124 “Ruslan” (1982) became the Soviet Union’s mass-produced strategic airlifter under the leadership of Chief Designer Viktor Tolmachev.[citation needed] The Bureau enlarged the “Ruslan” design even more for the Soviet space shuttle programme logistics, creating the An-225 “Mriya” in 1989. “Mriya” is still the world’s largest and heaviest aeroplane.

The end of the Cold War and perestroika allowed the Antonov company’s first step to commercialisation and foreign expansion. In 1989, the Antonov Airlines subsidiary was created for its own aircraft maintenance and cargo projects.

 

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Alexander Aircraft Company

The Alexander Aircraft Company was an aircraft manufacturer in Colorado in 1925.

The company began life as the Alexander Film Company[a] that specialized in film advertising, and the younger J. Don Alexander decided that his salesmen could sell more film advertising if they had airplanes. He wrote to plane manufacturers around the country asking for a price on a lot of 50 planes. But the builders, who were happy to get an order for one craft in those days, thought his letter was the work of a crackpot. It went into the wastebasket. This angered Alexander. He decided to build his own planes. He moved his operation to Englewood, Colorado and set up the aircraft company. He sent Justin McInaney to Marshall, Missouri (then a center of aviation manufacturing) to buy a plane and learn to fly. Justin’s instructor was the great Ben O. Howard, who later became famous as a plane racer and test pilot. Justin soloed after only ten hours of instruction. He bought a Swallow airplane for $2,300 and proceeded to fly back to Denver. That trip involved so many forced landings and other aerial adventures that he ended it almost an overnight veteran. Justin began teaching other men to fly, among them Vern Simmons; O.R. Ted Haueter (past vice president of Continental Airlines); Ray Shrader (past vice president of Braniff Airlines); Red Mosier (past vice president of American Airlines); Jack Frye (past president of TWA); plane designer Al Mooney. As the national sales manager, Justin helped build the firm to the top producer in the United States (eight planes a day, just before the depression). Originally headquartered in Englewood, the film-turned-aircraft company was forced to move to Colorado Springs in order to expand.

West of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and the Monument Valley Highway (now Interstate 25), the aircraft company had an El Paso County manufacturing plant between Pikeview and Roswell[3] in 1931. The company went bankrupt in August 1932 and was acquired by Aircraft Mechanics Inc., founded by W F Theis and Proctor W Nichols, in April 1937. It produced World War II Douglas Aircraft Company components, US Air Force ejection seats, and Space Shuttle crew seats.

Aircraft

The company built a number of successful versions of the Alexander Eaglerock biplane. These planes were especially popular with barnstormers. (Test pilot Tony LeVier took his first flying lesson from a barnstormer in an Eaglerock in 1928.) They were also used for carrying airmail, aerial photography, crop dusting, and air racing.

For a brief period from 1928 to 1929, Alexander was the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, and more aircraft were built in Colorado than anywhere else in the world. In the early 1930s, the firm built a revolutionary new plane—the forerunner of modern aircraft, with low wing and retractable gear—called the “Bullet”. Several of them crashed in the testing process because the government insisted that the unspinnable plane be tail-spun. The plane later was certificated, though, and became famous in racing and civil aviation. The depression and losses suffered in the Bullet program forced the aircraft firm to fold in the mid-1930s. Alexander would also be known for starting the career of Al Mooney, the founder of Mooney Aircraft, a general aircraft manufacturer that continues in operation in Kerrville, Texas.