Czech manufacturer Aircraft Industries is looking to start serial production of its modernised Let L-410NG regional turboprop in 2016.
The aircraft represents a further improved version of the 19-seat L-410 commuter transport, of which around 1,100 units have been built since 1969.
Aircraft Industries sales director Sergei Martynov says the flying prototype is to be assembled at its Kunovice-based production facility by the end of 2014, with a year-long type certification programme starting afterwards.
While retaining the General Electric H80 engine, the L-410NG features modernised wings with a greater fuel tank capacity. This will provide for a range extension up to 1,080nm (2,000km).
The front fuselage will be lengthened to accommodate a bigger luggage compartment. The maximum take-off weight will be 7,000kg (15,400lb), up from 6,600kg for the currently produced L-410-UVP-E20 model.
The type is also designed to remain operational at temperatures between -50°C and +50°C.
Aircraft Industries markets L-410s primarily in Russia and former Soviet states. It has sold 38 aircraft of the type in these territories over the past four years, says Martynov, noting that five Russian airlines already use them.
He expects the airframer to hand over 20 aircraft in 2014: “Half of deliveries will be to Russian customers, seven to South Africa and two or three to Nepal.”
Russia’s Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UGMK) bought 51% of Aircraft Industries in 2008 and exercised an option to acquire the remaining 49% last year.