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New Antonov twinjet gets ready to roll

The roll-out of Antonov's new An-148 regional twinjet has been rescheduled for September, while its first flight should take place before the end of the year, says Pavel Naumenko, general director of Kharkov State Aircraft Manufacturing Company (KSAMC), which is developing the aircraft with the Antonov Design Bureau.

The An-148 was originally due for roll-out in July, but was slipped because of a delay in shipping wing components to Antonov's experimental factory in Kiev, where three prototypes are being assembled.

A final decision on where the An-148 is to be built has also to be settled. With the Russian market likely to be the largest for the type, one of the two lines must be the Voronezh Aircraft Plant in southern Russia, says Naumenko.

The Ukrainian assembly line will either be KSAMC or the Aviant Kiev State Aviation Plant. Naumenko is leaning towards Aviant because KSAMC has a healthy backlog of An-74s and An-140s.

The An-148 is powered by two ZMKB Progress D-436-148 turbofans and will seat 75-80 passengers. First deliveries of the aircraft are planned for late 2005 following Russian and Ukrainian certification.

 

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