Russian institute testing new 19-seat turboprop design

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Russian aerospace researchers have developed a potential inexpensive multi-purpose aircraft platform potentially aimed at the 19-seat regional airliner market.

Similar in appearance to the Antonov An-38, the high-wing, twin-engined aircraft features a double vertical fin and fuselage-mounted main landing-gear.

Its design is intended to combine high aerodynamic efficiency in cruise with high-lift capabilities during take-off and landing, says the Moscow-based Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute. It says windtunnel testing of models has confirmed these characteristics, and the institute has also undertaken landing-gear testing of the design.

The institute cites analysis by Russian aerospace co-ordination company Aviaprom pointing to demand for 1,770 airframes over 2016-30, with more than 60% configured as a 19-seat regional transport. Two other variants - a 13-seat and a nine-seat versions - would account for the balance.

It states that the airframe would be constructed of composite materials and that the aircraft would be able to cope with unpaved airports in such areas as Siberia.

Russia's state aviation research institute GosNII GA suggest that such an aircraft could serve to replace types including the Let L-410, and cut costs of operations with current equivalent airframes by up to 45%.