An-132 Fuselage Is Ready. Maiden Flight Planned This Year
Ukrainian Antonov company announced that it has finalized the works related to the assembly process pertaining the An-132D fuselage which is being created in collaboration with the Saudi KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology) facility. The prototype is scheduled to make its maiden flight until the end of 2016. Series production is planned to begin in 2 years.
According to the agreement made between KACST and Antonov, the aircraft is going to be manufactured at the Saudi facility, however, the prototype is to be designed and manufactured by the Kiev-based Antonov plant. The works related to the fuselage, which is made, in its majority, out of composites, were finalized on time, according to the schedule – on 8th February.
Soon, cables and key components are going to be installed. These elements come mostly from the reputable Western manufacturers. Thanks to the above, Antonov would enter some new markets, targeting its effort to reach the customers who are likely to acquire “branded” products. The An-132D demonstrator is going to be propelled by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150 engines, with six-bladed Dowty Propellers Company R408 propellers. The fully digital avionics system is going to be delivered by Honeywell, while the life support system is to be provided by the Liebherr company.
The An-132, which is a modernized variant of the An-32 cargo plane, is to have a doubled range. It is also going to have better capabilities when it comes to the carried payload, while the airframe is designed in a way which provides the aircraft with STOL capabilities, so important when the missions require to carry out unprepared runway operations. Not only did the customers from the Middle East express their interest in the Antonov’s design, since those from Far East and South America also submitted their inquiries about the new airlifter.
The An-132D demonstrator is going to be used both for technological tests, as well as for the certification purposes. It is also to be used to present and display the capabilities of the design to the potential buyers. The above, primarily, concerns the clients from Saudi Arabia.