Ukrainian airframer Antonov hopes to certificate its An-2-100 turboprop modification of the vintage An-2 utility biplane “by the end of this year”, the company says.
The programme has attracted the attention of Cuba, which previously took delivery of up to 140 of the type, Antonov says.
A Cuban delegation signed a co-operation agreement in Kiev in September for participation in the modification programme.
Under the agreement, Cuba will set up a facility to convert the An-2 to the new standard. Ukrainian gas turbine manufacturer Motor Sich will supply Havana with the MS-14 turboprop, while Russia’s Aerosila will supply the three-blade reversible AV-17 propeller unit for the modified aircraft.
Antonov says it is also ready to supply training for air and ground crews involved in the modification programme.
The company flew the first An-2-100 on 10 July.
The company says the An-2-100’s new engine and propeller installation is 200kg (440lb) lighter than the original engine, while the MS-14 turboprop produces 1,500shp (1,120kW), up from 1,000shp in the original nine-cylinder radial piston engine.
Antonov sees a potential market for almost 1,000 An-2-100 conversions in the nations of the former Soviet Union, where AVGAS fuel for the original radial engine is no longer produced.