On 29 December 1999, thousands of spectators and media representatives gathered on the grounds of the airfield Speyer to witness a very special spectacle – the landing of a giant Antonov An-22 wide-body aircraft.
With a wingspan of 64 meters and a kerb weight of 114 tons, the An-22 is the largest propeller aircraft in the world. The landing at Speyer, on a runway just 1300 meters long, was therefore quite a challenge for the experienced test pilots, who boarded the Antonov in Kiev and first flew non-stop to the Karlsruhe / Baden-Baden airport. The meticulous preparations, during which even the roof of a building on the grounds of the Technik Museum Speyer had to be removed for safety reasons, was nonetheless considered to be worth it.
After only two test approaches, the pilots precisely landed the machine on the runway, and brought it to a stop without problems. The transport to the adjacent museum grounds again required precision work. This task was pulled off with flying colours by the specialists of the company Kübler from Schwäbisch Hall, who are known for their extensive experience in heavy transports.
The An-22 was designed as a civilian and military transport aircraft for transporting loads of up to 100 tons into remote regions with no fixed runway. In an emergency, a solid grass runway was sufficient for takeoff and landing. The huge, 33 metre long and 4.4 metre wide cargo space can comfortably accommodate three fully loaded gravel trucks, and the Antonov AN-22 would have no trouble lifting off with this load.
Length: 57.31 m; height: 12.54 m; wingspan: 64.40 m; wing area: 345 square metres; empty weight: 118,727 kg; max. lift off weight 225 000 kg; cruising speed 580 km/h; top speed: 600 km/h; ground speed: 240 km/h; take-off run: 1460 m; landing run: 1040 m; full load range: 5000 km; engines: 4x propeller turbine - Samara / Kusnetsov NK-12MA; engine performance: 14805 shp; crew: 5