A day before the opening of last month’s Moscow airshow, Sukhoi, Ilyushin and Boeing signed a series of agreements on the regional jet program proposed in mid-April during Boeing CEO Phil Condit’s visit to Moscow. Dubbed the “Russian Regional Jet” (RRJ), the program is aimed at building a prototype in 2004, certification in 2005 and service entry in 2006 or 2007.
The 80-seat Antonov An-148-100 won type approval from Russian and Ukrainian authorities in late February, marking the successful completion of the first new regional jet design in the former Soviet Union since the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Antonov expects its new An-148 regional jet to win CIS AP-25 certification this month and to deliver the first production example, built by Ukraine’s Aviant, to Kazakhstan’s SCAT Airlines early next year, according to the Ukrainian design bureau’s deputy general designer, Oleksander Kiva.
Ukraine’s Aviant and Russia’s Voronezh Aircraft JSC (VASO) plan to assemble 24 Antonov An-148 regional jets over the next two-and-a-half years, Aviant director general Oleh Shevchenko told the Russian media last month. Production schedules call for delivery of three airplanes this year, seven next year and 14 in 2008.
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.