Peter Barron
20th Dec 2003, 02:40
At 7pm tonight an aircraft left Heathrow and flew over my house in Slough.
The cloud base is very low so I could not see it but I did HEAR IT !

This was a very heavy Turboprop with a sound like no other aircraft, I think I have heard this sound once before and that was at Farnborough 1988.
I think what took off tonight was an Antonov AN-22.

Can anyone confirm this or tell me what it was.


20th Dec 2003, 03:37
Can confirm an AN-22 this afternoon going East climbing over Clacton.In the lasthour or so have also heard what I thought might be it descending at a low power, but can`t see anything.

Peter Barron
20th Dec 2003, 04:30

Thanks very much for that.

How very rare for an AN-22 to visit England, and what a glorious sound the engines made droning away into the night, unlike any other aircraft apart from maybe a Bear.

I thought it was an AN-22 when I heard it, bringing back memories of Farnborough 88 when one came to bring a spare engine for the AN-124.

Did anyone get a picture of this one today ?.


20th Dec 2003, 07:12
Earlier this year I heard an "oh my god that sounds interesting" noise overflying my abode... binoculars were for once close to hand, and a peer outta the window revealed not the expected AN-12 or 24 droning over out of Thiefrow but a vapour trailing turboprop at altitude.

'Twas an AN-22 and is apparently the last commercially operated example, flown by the Antonov bureau. Ironically operating, I believe, a trooping contract on behalf of the US Army.

Apparently well known around Europe - first I've ever seen on the hoof. Did see the one at Farnborough - heard it take off, glosrious noise. Bit like the Shack. Ahhhhhh...

20th Dec 2003, 07:27
Heard it once Last year, leaving Mirabel (Montreal) & already in cloud base.

Very impressive sound, especially when you know it´s comming from a "massive" Russian turboprop.

20th Dec 2003, 07:52
I bet even the US Army guys would have earache after a trip in the Ant.Seen it once or twice during the summer going towards Stansted. There`s nothing quite like a big turboprop--it`s like an afternoon snooze after Xmas lunch, listening to classical music-- sophorific,satisfying,slumberising something..................!!

20th Dec 2003, 08:06
Hmm, now you mention Stansted, would this be the really meaty sounding turboprop that I occaisionally (about once every two or three months) hear rumbling over St Ives about 23.00 hrs? Never really any earlier or later than that, but always very distinctive; a Herc is distinctive, but this thing is incredible. The noise cuts through the roof, the telly, the stereo, everything. Always have wondered what the hell it is...

20th Dec 2003, 17:55
I remember the An-22’s visit to Farnborough '88 very well. I was staying at the Falcon Hotel, which is on the extended centreline of RWY24. After a hard day working at the show I’d just settled down for a long soak in the bath before bar and dinner when I heard it. Leapt straight out of the bath, not so much to identify the source as to be ready to run, because it sounded as though whatever was making that noise was going to land well short of the threshold. As I recall it did made an ‘interesting’ landing somewhat off runway heading.

20th Dec 2003, 19:10

Quite correct about the landing at Farnborough. I watched in amazement as this huge beast landed with several wheels on the grass. If memory serves me it actually wiped-out a set of VASIs

Interesting pics:


20th Dec 2003, 20:49
Corrr... great pics! Pity they don't come with sound...

The Farnborough incident perhaps gave rise to - or rekindled - the old joke (how do you write in a Russian accent?):

"Short vrunvays zees Brrrrritish 'ave!"

"Da, Sergei, and yet so vide!"

21st Dec 2003, 02:27
Antaeus did leave STN yesterday with a cargo load outbound, second trip to STN this year...

Treadigraph..... sorry NO pax carried on the old guy as purely freight only operations with Antonov Airlines

Beauman deffo not Antaeus at that times stated could it be one of Air Antiques flight out of Coventry??


Akrotiri bad boy
21st Dec 2003, 04:14
I think it's out there now, west bound over Berkshire. Something growling like a grizzly with a sore head has had me gawping skywards in the back garden

21st Dec 2003, 05:04
I heard it too. Mrs loki was bemused to see me standing in the middle of the garden looking at the cloud base. Extremely atypical sound.

21st Dec 2003, 14:38
Wasn't the old boy.....he was in MCT last night:p


23rd Dec 2003, 16:56
I understand from an retired West Drayton controller that the Farnborough bound Ant called up LHR with a fuel problem. The mil pilots had NO IDEA about SID's and STAR's and Heathrow approach had civil planes scattering to the four winds.

A careful brief from LHR on the appropriate SID got them to Farnborough, but fortunately they had an English speaker on the return flight.


26th Dec 2003, 17:55
I saw an An-22 on finals to Cologne-Bonn at the beginning if December. (I was in the Zoo, it was on finals). A truely amazing aircraft with a very distinctive engine note. It was the first one I'd ever seen so thats another tick in the Observer's Book.