|The An-72 Coaler is designed as a short takeoff and landing aircraft which can operate from unprepared airfields. The An-72 originated as An-32, but was later fitted with jet engines. The first prototype flew on December 22, 1977, and the aircraft entered service in 1979.|
The wings are high-mounted and back-tapered with blunt tips and a negative slant. Two turbofans are mounted in long pods mounted on top of the wings. Round air intakes extend from the front of the wings’ leading edges. The engines were placed on the leading edge of the wings to increase lift for STOL capability, with the jet exhausts blowing over titanium panels on the upper surface. The engine position also gives good Foreign Object Damage (FOD) protection. The fuselage is circular with round, solid nose, upswept rear section, and a flush cockpit. The rear fuselage has a hinged loading ramp with a rear fairing that slides backwards and up to clear the opening. Up to 7.5 tons can be airdropped, and there are folding side seats for 42 paratroops or 52 passengers. The swept-back, untapered fin features back-tapered flats high-mounted on the fin forming a T.