The first executive variant of the Antonov An-148ChS regional airliner is due to enter service by year-end, flying for the government and operated by Russia’s Special Air Detachment.
Three An-148s in executive guise are currently being completed at United Aircraft’s Vaso facilities in Voronezh, Russia. The original contract issued last year was valued at $66 million for two of the airplanes and the government has indicated the final contract may be for as many as six.
The new version of the An-148 will feature a quick-conversion cabin that can be switched out for medevac missions or for full-capacity passenger missions. Expanded fuel capacity will allow for long-haul flights of up to 3,782 nm.
The conversion is a joint Russian-Ukraine program, and Kiev-based Antonov is also offering its own executive versions of the larger An-148-300. An Antonov spokeswoman told AIN the company anticipates demand for at least 50 executive versions of the aircraft.