Antonov assembles fuselage of An-132 prototype

Antonov assembles fuselage of An-132 prototype Image by Antonov

Ukrainian state enterprise Antonov has completed assembly of the first fuselage of An-132 prototype. The transport aircraft is an upgraded iteration of An-32 developed by Antonov in cooperation with Saudi partners, Taqnia Aeronautics and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

The bonding of the airframe, wing and empennage is underway, as well as the mounting of aircraft systems, Antonov reported. All production stages are proceeding in compliance with the schedule, and the first prototype will be assembled before the year’s end, Antonov’s president, Mikhail Gvozdev, said. He did not specify the date of the first flight, but he mentioned that after a series of flight tests the aircraft will be delivered to Saudi Arabia, where the serial assembly of the model will be arranged. Operators from Southeast Asia and Latin America have expressed interest in the aircraft, Antonov’s spokesperson claimed.

The upgrade of the Ukrainian An-32 project done in partnership with Saudi Arabia was announced last May. The aircraft’s available load will be increased to 10 tons, and its range will be extended. The model’s serial production was expected to start two years after the deal was signed.

Later on, it was announced that Antonov chose Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW150A turboprop engine, also used on Bombardier Q400. The first engines will be delivered to the Ukrainian OEM in April this year. The original An-32 is powered by AI-20D-5M.

The initial plan calls for eight An-132 aircraft to be assembled. The decision to upgrade the An-32 was made “based on analysis of Arabian demand and the global market’s offer of light transport aircraft, both military and civil,” according to Antonov.

 

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