An-148s head off for hot-and-high flight trials

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The two Antonov An-148 prototypes have flown to Karshi airport near Samarkand in Uzbekistan to undertake hot-and-high flight testing. Some flights will also be operated from a mountain airfield in Armenia. The aircraft have completed around 160 flights since testing began last December. Antonov says the prototypes are performing better than expected and it may be able to complete the programme with fewer than the planned 600 sorties. CIS certification is targeted for March. The third An-148 is set for ground fatigue testing, while the fourth is set for delivery to launch customer KrasAir in June 2006.