Mark Pilling

Nearly two years after it made its first flight, the Beriev Be-200 multi-purpose amphibious aircraft is scheduled to achieve Russian certification by year-end, says Beta Air spokes-woman Nataly Vyatkina.

Beta Air is the Russian joint stock company formed in 1991 to develop, manufacture and sell the Be-200.The certification programme started after the Be-200's first flight in September 1998, but gathered pace after the aircraft flew at the 1999 Paris airshow, she says.

The first prototype Be-200 is on course to initially achieve Aviaregistr certification to perform fire-fighting operations and to transport cargo and equipment relating to emergency operations. The flight test programme, which has launched into water landings and take-offs in the past 12 months, is being conducted at the Beriev Aircraft Company base in Taganrog and at Beriev's Gelendzhik site on the Black Sea.

The second Be-200 is currently in production and should be completed by the end of 2000 to join in the test programme, she says. This aircraft will be the first of seven to be delivered to the Russian ministry of emergency situations for disaster relief and fire-fighting work.

Source: Flight Daily News