Chennai, July 22: While all the three defence forces-Navy, Army and the Air Force-join hands to find the missing AN-32 aircraft, experts turn to speculations as to why it went missing, given its immaculate track record.
Although considered to be the most reliable Russian-made aircraft in the Indian Air Force, media reports claim that bad weather may have led to its going off-radar.
While the country awaits more news about the aircraft and its passengers, here are a few details that one needs to know about its features to understand its reliability.
- It is a twin-engine aircraft, which is primarily used as a cargo flight. However, in this case it was carrying 23 personnel and 6 crew members.
- There are 10 variants of the AN-32 aircraft: An-32A, An-32B, An-32B-100, An-32B-110, An-32B-120, An-32B-300, An-32LL, An-32MP, An-32P firekiller and An-32B-200.
- The aircraft can carry either 7.5 tonnes of cargo or upto 50 passengers
- It can fly at a maximum speed of 530km/hour.
- It weighs around 16,800kg and its maximum take-off weight is 27,000 kg.
- The An-32 prototype took its maiden flight in July 1976.
- The aircraft is designed to be used in both - civilian as well as military situations.