Two Tupolev aircraft have moved closer to production, it was learned at the show yesterday.

Tupolev hopes to begin production of the Tu-214 170-seat aircraft soon, following an agreement on financing. With four firm orders - two from Dalavia and two from the Russian government looking for VIP aircraft - the Lease Finance Company has agreed to finance the start of production.

The KAPO plant in Kazan will be the site for the production line, with two or three likely to be built next year, says Alexander Gorodnichev, marketing manager for AviaExport.

"We see production rising to 12 a year depending on orders," he says. "There is a lot of interest from companies, and quite a lot of interest from China."

The Finance Lease Company brings together oil companies and banks together with the government of Tartarstan and regional administrations. Base price for the Tu-214 is $25 million but it does depend on the finish, says Gorodnichev. "A more typical price will be around $27 million but it is still excellent value and it is combined with outstanding performance."

The Kazan plant will also be the production site for the Tu-324, first given funding approval in 1997. A full-size mock-up has been produced for the 50-seat regional aircraft with low wing, T-tail configuration and rear-mounted engines.


Elements have been made for the aircraft, but progress on the engine - Progress A1-22 turbofans - is holding things up, says Gorodnichev. "The way things are, production could start in one and half years. It depends on the engine company."

He adds that it could be used as a large business jet, "perhaps like a Global Express though without the range, but rather optimised to conditions in the Russian Federation".

Source: Flight Daily News