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Photo: Unusual Antonov An-74TK-100 STOL cargo freighter at Mumbai airport

As I was returning to Bangalore on Saturday, I spotted this very unusual aircraft at the ramp across the passenger terminal at Mumbai CSI airport, an Antonov An-74-TK-100.

UR-CKC belongs to Cavok Air, a Ukranian cargo operator. The striking feature of this aircraft is the overwing engines which are used to perform short take-off and landings by using the Coandă effect.

As per Wikipedia

…. An-74 was initially the upgrade of the An-72 test aircraft to be used in the Arctic and on Antarctica and had the designation An-72A “Arctic”. The aircraft’s main purpose was to deliver cargo, equipment and personnel over short and medium range routes in climatic conditions ranging from −60°C to +45°C anywhere in the world, including the North Pole, and at high altitudes. It can operate from low grade airstrips made with concrete, pebble, ice and snow aerodromes.

The aircraft pictured here is the An-74TK-100 which allows conversion flexibility in seating up to 52 passengers or cargo or a mix of both. It also has an additional navigator station. This particular airframe was built in 1992.

Apparently this aircraft suffered an emergency when landing at Mumbai. A statement from the airport details the situation.

At about 12:43 hrs MIAL airside team detected a landing Russian charter cargo aircraft (AN 74) had caught fire as a lot of smoke was seen from undercarriage. The airside safety team immediately coordinated with ATC, entered runway and detected both starboard tyre burst due which the thick smoke and fire was seen. MIAL Apron control immediately requested ATC to advise the pilot to switch off engines, fire assistance was called and all emergency systems were activated. The aircraft was stuck on Taxiway N7 due which RWY 27 was blocked for 3 hours. Runway 32 was immediately activated for all incoming and outgoing flights. Aircraft was towed to stand 40 at 15:43 hrs after both the tyres were replaced. No airport operations were affected due to this incident.

Observe, even the emergency cannot resist taking pictures of themselves next to this unusual aircraft.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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