Antonov has completed flight tests of the An-74TK-300 and is aiming for type certification next month to Russian AP-25 airworthiness requirements, which harmonise with US FAR Part 25 standards.

The only flying aircraft, built to production standards, has logged 219 flights since April last year. The An-74TK300 differs from the basic An-72/74 in having the engines installed underwing rather than above. This reduces fuel consumption by 19% and boosts cruise speed by 27kt (50km/h), but it requires a 200m increase in runway length.

Chairman of the interstate aviation committee air register Anatoly Kruglov says the An-74TK-300 is fully compliant with the AP-25, although the original An-74 was developed and certificated in 1991 to Soviet NLGS-3 standards.

The 14,300lb-thrust (64kN) ZMKB Progress D-36 Series 4A-powered aircraft meets International Civil Aviation Organisation Chapter 4 noise requirements that will come into force in 2006.

In June, Aeroflot signed a letter of intent for 30 52-seat An-74TK-300s, to be financed by Russia's Ilyushin-Finance and leased from Ukraine's UkrTransLizing. A stretched version carrying 68 passengers over 2,500km (1,350nm) is also being studied.

The KhGAAP factory in Kharkov is assembling an An-74TK-300 freighter with a 2.8m plug in the fuselage for an unnamed Ukrainian cargo carrier. Antonov says aircraft have also been ordered by Chinese and Russian freight operators.

Source: Flight International