Antonov, responding to “strong market demand,” has launched a stretched version of its much-delayed 86-passenger An-148 regional passenger aircraft. The An-148-200 would seat 99 passengers in single-class and be ready for service entry in 2010, said Antonov general designed Dmytro Kiva. “We have identified a market for more than 200 aircraft out to 2015,” he said. “We’ll be ready to flight test the aircraft in 2009.
Russia’s aircraft engine manufacturers are trying to make up ground lost to Western rivals through a comprehensive process of consolidation and restructuring. The success of this change will have an impact not just on the companies themselves, but also on the ambitious new aircraft programs being prepared under the auspices of the new United Aircraft Manufacturing Corp. (OAK) for which new-generation engines are required.
Antonov handed over a second example of the An-140 turboprop to its daughter company, Antonov Airlines, early last month. Engineers removed test equipment and installed 48 seats for passenger charter use.
While the Russian regional airline system struggles to realize some semblance of Western-style development, the former Soviet satellite state of Ukraine has assumed a leading position in the fleet renovation efforts under way throughout the former Soviet Union.
The first deliveries of the Antonov An-148 are imminent, general designer Dmytro Kiva said on Tuesday during a press conference here at the Paris Air Show. The first eight examples of the 85-seater will go to Kazakh Scat airlines.
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).
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.
An-148–Due for imminent certification by Russian and Ukrainian civil aviation authorities, the An-148 stands nearly ready for delivery this year to Russian launch operator Pulkovo Aviation of St. Petersburg and Skat Airlines of Kazakhstan. Siberia’s KrasAir, holder of a firm lease order with Ilyushin Finance Company for ten examples, expects the first of its airplanes to arrive early next year.
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