In the Works: Antonov

 - September 13, 2006, 4:38 AM

An-148–Due for imminent certification by Russian and Ukrainian civil aviation authorities, the An-148 stands nearly ready for delivery this year to Russian launch operator Pulkovo Aviation of St. Petersburg and Skat Airlines of Kazakhstan. Siberia’s KrasAir, holder of a firm lease order with Ilyushin Finance Company for ten examples, expects the first of its airplanes to arrive early next year.

All told, Ukrainian An-148 manufacturer Aviant and Russian assembler Voronezh Aircraft JSC (VASO) hold firm orders for 26 of the high-wing jets along with options on another 15. Pulkovo’s deal calls for the lease of at least eight VASO-built airplanes from IFC, while Skat and fellow Kazakh operator Berkut Air Services take seven and one, respectively, from Aviant.      

Antonov finished all strength testing on the program prototypes in July, and expected to finish flight testing under maximum loads last month. Production schedules call for delivery of three An-148s this year, seven in 2007 and 14
of the 70- to 80-seat regional jets in 2008.