While the Antonov Company is far better known for building and operating the world’s largest aircraft – the An-225 destroyed in the Ukrainian war last month – the company also holds the title of having made the largest commercially operated propeller plane. and militarily on the planet.
Despite not having just one model manufactured in history, as was the case with the An-225, the Antonov An-22 Antei turboprop had only one civilian example still in commercial operation in the world. A few other civil aircraft of the model have long been out of flight, and there are still a few operational units in the Russian Air Force.
But even if the war ends soon in Ukraine, Antonov Airlines’ only An-22 is unlikely to fly again anytime soon. He suffered a strange and very curious damage from the inside to the outside of his fuselage at Gostomel Airport, near the Ukrainian capital Kiev, as shown and commented by Commander Dmytro, the airline’s chief pilot and instructor, in two videos.
In the first video, previously seen on AEROIN, the commander walked around the Gostomel airport and showed the damaged or destroyed aircraft. Among them was the Antei, with extensive damage, including large holes in the left landing gear fairing and the top of the fuselage.
See the plane in detail in the video below, which was without the propellers due to maintenance:
After showing the images at the airport, in another video the pilot Dmytro returned to talk about the destruction of the equipment, and commented on the strange damage to the upper part of the plane.
“On the An-22, some external damage, a lot of bullet holes and a very weird hole in the top of the fuselage where the surface is facing out.
How could this happen? It can only be twisted to the outside by an explosion from within. The plane was damaged by a rocket launcher or anti-aircraft explosives.
From this, it can be concluded that the only objective was the destruction of the aircraft, the seizure of all documentation, the destruction of all electronic means, everything related to the airline.”
See below the video in which he makes the comments transcribed above (you can use the settings in the corner of the player to put the subtitles and to trigger the automatic translation of it into Portuguese).
As a curiosity, the video below shows a flight made by Dmytro on the Antonov An-22 Antei at the end of 2020, with many details about the operation and interior of the plane. The aircraft, like the An-225, had been an important vector of air transport in the midst of the lack of planes for the high demand for cargo.