On February 27, 1965, the AN-22 Antei, the first widebody transport aircraft in the world, performed its maiden flight. AN-22 was the biggest transport at that time. Antei’s parameters were impressive: take-off weight of 225 t, the fuselage diameter — 6 meters, the world biggest propellers with diameter of 6.2 m. In 1965 this aircraft was displayed at Le Bourget air show. This presentation caused a world sensation. AN-22 set 41 world records.
Creation of this aircraft became an important event for the global aviation history. The aircraft maiden flight was performed by the crew of: captain Yurii Kurlin, co-pilot Volodymyr Terskiy, navigator Petro Koshkin, flight engineer Volodymyr Vorotnikov, flight electrician Michael Rachenko, radio operator Mykola Drobyshev and chief test engineer Viktor Shatalov, engineer Oleksandr Eskin.
February 27 became also a Memorial Day of Yurii Kurlin, the firs crew captain of AN-22, legend of the world’s aviation, test-pilot, the Hero of the Soviet Union, who passed away two years ago.
At present, Antei is still under operation. On February 27, 2020, AN-22 (side number UR-09307) operated by Antonov Airlines departed from the “Kyiv-Antonov-2” airport to Leipzig, Germany, to perform a commercial flight.