The Antonov An-30 is a derivative of the An-24, fitted with an entirely new fuselage forward of frame 11.

Developed on the basis of the Antonov An-24 airframe by Beriev of the Soviet Union, the Antonov An-30 is known as an aerial cartography platform. The first flight was made on August 21, 1967, and officially entered service in July 1968. Between 1971 and 1980, about 123 were built, both civilian and military. Currently, only 4 countries are operating the An-30, including: Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.

To enable accurate and repeatable survey flights, standard equipment for the An-30 included computer flight path control technology. This additional equipment replaced the radar on the An-24. The positioning of the new navigational equipment required the flightdeck to be raised by 41 cm in comparison to the An-24, giving the aircraft its other main feature, a hump containing the cockpit.

Antonov An-30
Antonov An-30

The radio operator and flight engineer sat in the first cabin aft of and below the flightdeck. The mission equipment was located further aft, in a cabin featuring five camera windows in the floor. Each camera window could be closed with covers to protect the glass panels. The covers were located in special fairings protruding from the fuselage underside.

The An-30 was powered by two Ivchenko AI-24VT turboprops engines developing 2,803 horsepower each. Maximum speed reached 540 km/h with a cruising speed of 430 km/h. Range was out to 2,630 km and the service ceiling was 8,300 m.

In addition to its principal use as a survey aircraft, it has also been used by Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, Russia and Ukraine to carry out surveillance under the Open Skies Treaty. The An-30 has also been used as a weather control aircraft as the An-30M. Some have been fitted with frozen tanks of carbon dioxide to be ejected into the sky to form artificial rain clouds.


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