The Antonov An-26 is now a comparatively rare sight in European skies, many of the former Warsaw Pact air arms having retired the type - known under the NATO codename system for Soviet-built aircraft as the 'Curl' - in favour of newer Western equipment. The Hungarian Air Force, however, still has four An-26s on strength with its fixed-wing transport squadron at Kecskemét. The twin-turboprop tactical transport made its maiden flight in 1969, and was produced to the tune of over 1,400 examples. It was based on the earlier An-24, incorporating a rear loading ramp among other improvements. Extensive sales to Communist countries for both military and civil use were guaranteed, but numbers in service are now dwindling.