An-132 prototype to be fit with Dowty propellers
The test prototype of the turboprop transport aircraft An-132 (known as the An-132D) will be fit with R408 propellers from British manufacturer Dowty Propellers. At the Farnborough Air Show, a representative from the Dowty Propellers announced that the agreement was signed in January of this year. The aircraft, which is a modernized version of the An-32, is being developed by the Ukrainian state-owned manufacturer Antonov in partnership with Saudi Arabian manufacturers.
Currently, specialists from the British manufacturer are preparing for work with the test An-132 and are training Antonov personnel with servicing of the system. After installation of the propellers, Antonov will begin ground and flight testing of the prototype.
The R408 model has six blades and is manufactured from composite material. Adoption of the modular system allows to reduce the system’s maintenance costs.
Such props are in use on the Canadian regional aircraft Bombardier Q400. In addition to this, a variant of the model, the R408/6-123-F/27, is expected to be installed on the Chinese aircraft MA700.
The Q400 uses R408 propellers with Pratt & Whitney PW150A engines. In fall of last year, Antonov and Pratt & Whitney Canada signed an agreement to install this same power plant on their An-132 prototype. This year, at the Farnborough Air Show, the OEMs signed a memorandum of understanding, which contains that the engines will power the serial aircraft as well. Pratt & Whitney says in a report that it is the new version of the PW150A, but does not provide details about the powerplant.
Taqnia Aeronautics, a Saudi company, is also taking part in the creation of the An-132. The aircraft, which is being developed pimarily for the Saudi market, will be assembed in Saudi Arabia.
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