Czech airframer Aircraft Industries is in the midst of the certification campaign for its new Let L410 NG twin turboprop, which includes a significantly increased maximum take-off weight on the legacy variant of the type.

One of the great survivors of aviation, the 19-seater started life in 1969 and more than 1,200 have been built – its rugged nature making it popular in remote and regions with limited infrastructure. The manufacturer aims to sell 10 examples of the current variant this year.

The NG has a slightly upgraded powerplant, with the 800shp General Electric (formerly Walter) H80-200 of the current L410 version being replaced by the 850shp GE H85. Maximum take-off weight rises 500kg to 7,000kg and speed marginally to 223kt (412km/h).

However, commercial director Robert Erhart says the big difference with the NG is a major increase in range – up from the current 820nm (1,520km) to 1,350nm.

This is achieved through a new wing structure with an integral wing tank, with fuel capacity, including the aircraft’s characteristic tip tanks, rising from 1,300kg to 2,450kg.

This also boosts the aircraft’s endurance from just over 5h to 9h, he says. The company already holds several options for the new aircraft, although it declines to say how many.

The NG version made its debut at last year’s MAKS airshow in Moscow and ILA is only its second major public outing. The flight test programme started a year ago, with certification due in late 2017, according to test pilot Petr Jarocký.

“I would say it’s going very well. We are going for FAA, EASA and Russian certification, so we have to co-ordinate flights with all three organisations.”