As series production of Antonov’s new-generation An-148 and An-158 regional jets gains momentum, the manufacturer and its close ally lessor Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) are trying to raise the type’s temporary operational limitations.
Vector Aerospace, a Vancouver-based maintenance, repair and overhaul service, recently loaded four upgraded Eurocopter AS332L helicopters onto an Antonov An-124 at Vancouver International Airport. Two of the AS332Ls were bound for Australia for use in offshore oil rig servicing contracts and the other two were sent to Afghanistan for utility operations.
Russian airlines Aeroflot and UTair, along with leasing group Aviation Capital Services (ACS), have ordered 126 of Honeywell Aerospace’s avionics suites for various new aircraft that they have on order.
The Russian ministry of defense (MoD) has awarded United Aircraft (UAC) a firm order for 15 Antonov An-148 twinjets, according to UAC president Mikhail Pogosian, speaking at the Paris Air Show. The contract is worth Rouble 18 billion ($550 million). The delivery schedule calls for one aircraft this year, eight in 2014-2015 and six in 2016-2017. The Russian government has previously expressed a need for 130 jetliners for various government agencies. This requirement includes 59 An-148s, according to minister for industry and trade Denis Manturov.
The new short takeoff and landing Antonov An-70 military transporter will soon complete joint state testing, according to Dmytro Kiva, Antonov president and general designer and academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The An-70’s noise certification has been issued, he added.
Transport aircraft designer Antonov (Hall 1 H298) is presenting the An-70 short take off and landing (Stol) military freighter at the Paris Air Show. The company claims it is the world’s only aircraft that can take off from short unpaved runways of 600 to 700 meters with 20 tons of cargo over a 1,620-nm range.
The An-70 cabin “accommodates all types of CIS and NATO military equipment and armaments as well as construction machines and vehicles weighing up to 47 tons,” according to Antonov.
The Russian navy introduced the first of a planned eight Antonov An-140-100 twin turboprops at Ostafievo naval air station. This follows delivery of four similar aircraft to the Russian Air Force, three of which are based at Chkalovsky airbase. But it is still unclear whether the Russian ministry of defense will order the Ukrainian design in quantity.
The first executive variant of the Antonov An-148ChS regional airliner is due to enter service by year-end, flying for the government and operated by Russia’s Special Air Detachment.
Three An-148s in executive guise are currently being completed at United Aircraft’s Vasco facilities in Voronezh, Russia. The original contract issued last year was valued at $66 million for two of the airplanes and the government has indicated the final contract may be for as many as six.
Demand for business aviation in Russia and the wider Commonwealth of Independent States is continuing to excite aircraft manufacturers and service providers alike, especially with the nearby markets of Western Europe remaining largely stagnant. Russia was not untouched by fallout from the financial crisis that started in 2008, but for most of the past 10 years has sustained strong business aviation growth.
The first example of a VIP-configured Antonov An-148 regional airliner is due to enter service by year-end, after flying for the first time early in October. Three of the An-148-100EA versions of the twinjet are currently being completed at United Aircraft Corporation’s Vaso factory in Voronezh, Russia.
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