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Red Star Volume 33
Antonov An-12

The Soviet Hercules

by Yefim Gordon and Dimitriy Komissarov


S u m m a r y

Catalog Number: Red Star Series No 33 - Antonov An-12  The Soviet Hercules
by Yefim Gordon and Dimitriy Komissarov
ISBN: 1857802551
Media: Soft cover; 145 pages
Price: GBP19.99 from Ian Allan Publishing
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: An examination of Russia’s tactical airlift workhorse
Recommendation: Recommended for fans of Russian aviation history


Reviewed by Ken Bowes

Red Star's "Antonov An-12" will be available online from Squadron



The latest in the long running Red Star Series is Volume 33, Antonov AN-12, quite accurately subtitled "The Soviet Hercules".

Authored by Yefim Gordon and sometime collaborator Dimitriy Komissarov, Red Star 33 looks at what is probably one of the most successful military transport aircraft produced in the former Soviet Union. The origins of its design lie in the early 1950s, with Soviet doctrine influenced by world events. Militarily a dedicated transport capability was needed, and out of the AN-8 (reminiscent of the C-123) and AN-10 airliner came the AN-12 Cub. The Cub first flew in December 1957, not long after the C-130A Hercules and the similarity of layout and capability is more than coincidence.

Like the venerable Hercules the Cub has served its masters well, not only in the transport role, but in a myriad of specialist roles from intelligence gathering to airborne command and control. Perhaps where the story of the Cub most diverges from that of the Herc is the fact that it is no longer in production in its own country. Whereas Hercules production continues with the C-130J, new versions of the Cub are now emerging from China, where as the Y-8 what began as simple licence production has spawned a whole new family of variants including AEW, intelligence and AAR platforms. Indeed the Y-8X/Y-9 development with new engines, avionics and efficient propellers can be seen to mirror the transformation wrought to the C-130 design when Lockheed Martin embarked on J model production.

Gordon and Komissarov address in this book all the variations of the Cub from the 1957 airlifter to the 21st century Y-8 AEW and Y-9 in some detail. Along the way the origins, development and service history of the type is covered, including a detailed look at use in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The book provides numerous photographs, both detailed and overview which are of immense use as reference material.

Also included is a detailed production list including history where known and a useful set of line drawings of the major sub-types. Finally some nicely rendered colour profiles of some of the major cub users finish the book.

With the excellent Roden An-12 kit available in 1/72 scale as the basis, this book provides the necessary material for an excellent scale model.


Thanks to Simon of DLS Australia for the review sample

The Red Star series may be purchased from www.midlandcountiessuperstore.com

Review Copyright © 2007 by Ken Bowes
This Page Created on 03 September, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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