Modified An-70 resumes flight testing

By:  
-
Source:
This story is sourced from Flight International
Subscribe today »

Antonov's An-70 tactical transport took part in Ukraine's Aviasvit-XXI air show in late September, following an avionics modification programme which the design bureau claims will see the type "surpass its main European competitor, the [Airbus Military] A400M." The upgraded aircraft has been involved in flight trials since August.

Under a new production plan, main assembly of the An-70 is to be transferred to Russia's KAPO plant in Kazan, while its engines, wings and tail would be made in Ukraine, Antonov head Dmitry Kiva told the Kommersant newspaper. The Russian military plans to purchase at least 60 An-70s by 2020, while the type will also be operated by the Ukrainian air force.

The An-70 has had a long and troubled gestation period, one prototype having crashed in 1995 after a collision and a second having been damaged in 2001 during a mishap while attempting to take off. It has also had a history of problems relating to its Progress D-27 propfan engines.