Although the political crisis in Ukraine kept Antonov engineers guessing about the timing of the first flight of the 52-seat An-148, the airplane took to the air on December 17 from Kiev’s Svyatoshin Aerodrome.
Antonov An-148 launch customer Scat Airlines of Kazakhstan will take its first two airplanes next month, if Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich’s declarations during an official state visit with Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev last month prove accurate. During ceremonies in the Kazakh capital Astana, the Ukrainian delegation presented their hosts with a model of the 80-seat twinjet.
Xi’an Aircraft Industry is showing a model here at Le Bourget of a proposed cargo version of its MA60 regional turboprop. The MA60-500 is expected to be able to carry a payload of five tons over a range of 1,000 miles. Marketed by China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC), more than 20 standard MA60s have been delivered to Wuhan Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Shenzhen.
The proliferation and diversification of international terrorism and crime is fueling demand for next-generation patrol aircraft for surveillance of airspace, sea and land. Nations such as Russia, Ukraine, China, India, Malaysia, South Korea and Iran want a single aircraft platform for such roles.
Airlines around the world in the market for equipment to serve the emerging 100-seat sector have no fewer than five choices to evaluate here at the Paris Air Show this week. Bombardier with its new C Series and Embraer with the 190/195 family enjoy a high profile, but alternative programs conceived farther east won’t easily let the Western airframers steal the show.
The dramatic victory of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and his self-styled Orange Revolution in December last year has brought numerous changes to the government of this former Soviet republic–many geared toward ultimate integration into the European Union (EU).
Most people know the Antonov An-140 as a Ukrainian airplane, developed and produced by the Kharkov State Aircraft Manufacturing Co. (KSAMC). But this 52-seat twin turboprop regional airliner has assumed a distinct international character since its inception, attracting several foreign partners and customers–including a strong Iranian connection.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft is negotiating a new sales contract for the Russian Regional Jet and may be able to announce the deal here at Dubai 2005 tomorrow, a company spokeswoman told Aviation International News yesterday. The deal will certainly not involve Aeroflot, however, as the Russian flagcarrier continues to weigh its options on a purchase of 30 regional jets, a decision it expects to announce by the end of the year.
Antonov expects its new An-148 regional jet to win CIS AP-25 certification this month and to deliver the first production example, built by Ukraine’s Aviant, to Kazakhstan’s SCAT Airlines early next year, according to the Ukrainian design bureau’s deputy general designer, Oleksander Kiva.
At a time when relations between Russia and Ukraine are at an all time low, an aircraft program may be the key to finding new opportunities for the two nations to work together. At Farnborough International this year there are two Antonov An-140 turboprop transports parked side-by-side on the tarmac.