Alexander Velovich/MOSCOW

Antonov'S An-140 twin-turboprop regional transport had its first flight on 17 September from Svyatoshino airfield in Kiev to the nearby Gostomel flight-test centre. The flight lasted 1.5h.

The first effort to fly the aircraft six days before was unsuccessful because of the failure of a Klimov TV3-117VMA turboprop.

Immediately after the flight, Ukrainian Airlines president Sergey Milyutin signed a letter of intent to buy up to 40 An-140s by 2010. The contract for the first batch is due to be signed before the end of this year.

Series production has started at the Kharkov plant in Ukraine, and an assembly line is being prepared at the Samara plant in Russia. Both say that they will complete the Ìrst production aircraft in 1998. Antonov says that a further prototype will join the flight-test programme before the end of this year, followed by another in 1998, plus one airframe for static structural-load testing.

The An-140 is intended to replace several hundred Antonov An-24 transports in the CIS. Sakha Avia, an airline from Yakutia, may become the launch customer.

In passenger layout, the An-140 can carry 46-52 people over 2,100-2,650km (1,135-1,430nm), cruising at 280-310kt (520-575km/h). The aircraft's TV3-117VMA turboprops are each rated at 1,840kW (2,470hp) and are produced in Ukraine by Motor-Sich of Zaporozhye. The 1,800kW Pratt & Whitney PW127A is offered as an alternative engine option.

Source: Flight International