LONDON – Today in Aviation, Antonov AN-38 took to the skies for the first time in 1994 and was given international flying certification in April 2000.

The Antonov AN-38 is a stretched and improved version of the company’s previous AN-28. The Antonov Design Bureau in Kyiv, Ukraine, designed the twin-engined turboprop transport aircraft. The majority of the parts are created in Ukraine and Belarus; however, some are made in Novosibirsk, Russia.

The idea for a stretched version of the Antonov AN-28 emerged from a 1989 sales visit in India, where it became evident that there was a considerable market for an aircraft similar to the An-28 but with seating in the 25–30 seat range. A year later, the design was accepted, and a model was presented at the 1991 Paris Air Show.

Antonov An-38-100 at MAKS 1999.

Antonov AN-38 Design


The AN-38 has a similar design to the previous An-28, with the same wings and tail, but it has a longer fuselage and various improvements, including improved fuel efficiency, increased comfort (cabin and cockpit), and reduced internal noise, as well as stronger sound insulation. Other enhancements include an increase in passenger capacity to 27, courtesy to a 2,500 kilogram (5,500 lb) maximum payload, as well as a top speed of 405 km/h (250 mph).

Its design also allows it to operate in inclement weather; it has weather radar, advanced navigational systems, and low-pressure tires that allow it to operate from unpaved and snowy airfields. Furthermore, with ice on the wing and tail assembly, the aircraft is more resistant to stalling at high angles of attack and is more stable and nimble.

As of August 2019, two of the 11 that were built were still in use; however, only one will be in service with ALROSA Airlines in 2021.


Featured image: Vostok Airlines Antonov An-38. Photo: Vladimir Galkin, GFDL 1.2