View Full Version : Unidentified transport aircraft

John Farley
27th Mar 2005, 10:05
I was just north of Yeovilton on Thursday morning 24 Mar at about 11.10 when I heard an aircraft noise that was unlike any I had heard before. It was deep, yet high reving, slow moving and very heavy. So I got out of my car and saw what looked a bit like a Belfast (tubby, straight winged reasonably high aspect ratio) going north at circa 3/4000 ft and say 200kts BUT it had SIX engines with propellors all unusually close to the centre line. Indeed I would guess the outboards were only at half span.

Anybody able to help me identify it?


27th Mar 2005, 10:31
AN-22 or an AN-12? Or a Fat Albert with underwing fuel tanks? They're the only things that spring to mind

27th Mar 2005, 17:17
Wasn't AN22 he's in deep maintenance:sad:

Sounds like C130

Belslow not up this neck of the woods is it??


Footless Halls
27th Mar 2005, 17:47
Notwithstanding that you quite clearly say 'six propellors', a C130 with tanks can look astonishingly 6 engined. Surely the number of 6 piston or turboprop engined aicraft can be counted on the fingers of one (or maybe two) hand(s)?

John Farley
27th Mar 2005, 21:00
Thanks chaps

I hang my head in shame. I have had another look at a Cock 3-view and the position of the outboard engines at half span has done it for me. I am sure my mistake was to see the side fuse fairings as a pair of 'inboard' engines. I remember thinking that they looked too close to the fuse for prop clearance....

As to the noise I reckon only the An-22 would fit not the other possibilities of a mistaken plan view ident.

VP8 - perhaps there is another one about if yours is in bits??


27th Mar 2005, 22:51
Hi John

There is only one civilain certified AN22 UR09307 owned by Antonov Design Bureau the other was flown to an air museum in Germany , the rest are all Russian Mil so I assume you would not get one this far West.


28th Mar 2005, 05:08

The airspace around Yeovilton is (I believe) relatively free airspace and as such a playground for ETPS @ Boscombe. I saw the AN22 recently climbing slowly out of either Liverpool or Manchester nr the Wrexham beacon and the sound she makes is very `distinctive` to the point that I was pretty certain what it was before I got a visual. The was a thread here on said machine that did help set the mindset. Perhaps the Russian Air Force have sold some hardware??

John Farley
28th Mar 2005, 10:20

I agree the sound is very unusual - which is what got me out of the car to try and find the aircraft as I had never heard the like before.

I am as sure as possible now that it was a 22 becuse the engines are so close inboard which struck me as unlike any I had seen before.

There is always a design choice with wing mounted donks - well out and the wing gets bending relief in the cruise but the asymm stuff gets worse.......


Perhaps 'mine' was the same one Tiger saw recently if yours is on jacks

Thanks again everyone


28th Mar 2005, 17:48
As I said in my last post 09307 is the only civil certified AN22 allowed world wide.

The Russian airforce have several examples on the Russian register but can only fly in the CIS regions.

The one in the picture is now in a museum in Germany!

Are you sure not an AN12 as a few arrive in this country regulary??


John Farley
28th Mar 2005, 18:55

Well I obviously cannot be sure it was not a 12 but, I can say that comparing the 3-view of the 12 with the 22 just now it is clear that the distribution of the engines along the wing is more 'normal' on the 12 and I don't think I would have felt it had 6 engines. On the other hand the 22 does have the big fairings which I think is what I saw when I felt it had six engines and was also surprised at how close to the fuse the inners were.

Then there was the sound - SO unusual. Plus Tiger mate reckoned he saw a 22 recently....

Suggest we let sleeping dogs lie unless an air-trafficer or somat can come up with the answer.


29th Mar 2005, 08:54
No probs John

As you say the 22 has a very distinctive noise more of an undulating drone similar to the old Bear I've heard..


30th Mar 2005, 08:47
Surely the distinctive feature of the An-22 is the tailplane? I can't think off-hand of any 4-engined high-wing aircraft with endplates, apart from B-24, Lancaster, Shackleton........

John Farley
30th Mar 2005, 10:06

Unfortunately by the time I got out of my car to try and find the source of the odd noise the aircraft was going away from me, quite a long way past my overhead and pretty small. I just had this recollection of '6' engines, the outers being at half span, the inners too close to the fuse and a realisation that I did not know what it was.


30th Mar 2005, 10:14
The An-22 really does make an extraordinarly deep growling noise - first time I heard it, I thought it might be an AN-12 out of Heathrow at 8000 or so - it was the 22 vapour trailling along Green 1 at 29000 plus! Second time, down around 15000 inbound Bournemouth, and rattling my windows and filings! Wonderful...

The AN-12 is quite resonant and fairly umistakable, but 'tis as nothing...!