Antonov completed on 31 March first flight of the Saudi Arabia-backed An-132D multi-purpose turboprop aircraft in Kiev, Ukraine.

The event attended by Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko comes four months after the heavily modified and upgraded version of the An-32 rolled-out of Antonov’s factory on 16 December.

Achieving first flight marked a "landmark event" for the An-132D flight demonstrator, says Antonov in a tweet.

Antonov launched the An-132 development programme more than two years ago with Saudi financial support.

The programme re-engines the An-32 with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A engines, the same powerplants installed on the Bombardier Q400 turboprop.

The An-132 will also come equipped with Honeywell avionics, Liebherr air management system and Dowty propellers.

The aircraft is designed to carry up to 8t of cargo to a ceiling of 28,000ft.

Antonov financed the project by partnering with two Saudi organizations — King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Taqnia Aeronautics, which provide the Kingdom with a 50% ownership in the project.

Source: Cirium Dashboard