AN-148 / Regional Passenger Jet of a New Generation
In cooperation with more than 200 enterprises of 15 countries of the world ANTONOV Company developed a family of AN−148 regional twin−jets. These airplanes are high-technology and competitive products, which meet all the modern world requirements, safety and ecological standards as well as potential operators’ demands. They are intended for passenger, cargo−passenger and cargo transportations on regional and short−haul air routes. New airplanes are intended to replace the AN−24, Tu−134, Yak−40 and Yak−42.
The AN−148-100 family includes the following 68−85− seat versions:
-AN148−100A with a service range of 2100 km;
-AN148−100B with a service range of 3500 km;
-AN148−100E with a service range of 4400 km.
-versions with increased passenger capacity;
-versions with maximum comfort level for passengers;
-freighter with a side cargo door;
-freighter with a rear cargo ramp;
-passengercargo (combi) aircraft;
-special purpose aircraft.
The design solutions implemented in the AN−148 family aircraft provide the new airplanes with a number of advantages. One of them is considerably higher level of engine and wing structure protectability from damage with foreign objects provided due to scheme of a high−wing monoplane with engines on pylons under the wing. AN−148 can be safety operated at poor−equipped, pebble, unpaved, prepared ice− and snow−covered runways. APU, airborne system of registration of systems’ status and also high level of the aircraft systems’ operatability and reliability allow using AN−148−100 almost at all types of airdromes including those one considerably remote from a base airdrome. Due to convenient position of the under−floor cargo compartments it is not necessary to use special ground equipment when loading/unloading the baggage.
Д−436−148 engines, serially produced by Ukrainian and Russian enterprises, power the AN−148 aircraft family. They are equipped with the automatic control and monitoring systems which optimize work of the engine on all the segments of flight, increase its reliability, decrease fuel consumption and cost of service. Engines of AN−148 meet all the modern requirements of ICAO and Eurocontrol. Their assigned life is 40000 hrs, 20000 cycles. The An−148 versions powered by the modern foreign engines having thrust of 6400−8000 kgf are considered as the members of the AN−148 family.
Modern navigation and radio communication equipment, implementation of multifunction indicators, fly−by−wire system allow use AN−148 on any air route, including the routes with high−density traffic, under VFR and IFR weather conditions, at day and night. The aircraft is provided with manual and automatic flight control to be used in particular on programmed route. It is able to perform automatic approach according to the norms of I, II and III A ICAO categories. AN−148 can fly on the international air routs in systems B−RNAV and B−RNAV providing RNP−1 and RNP−5 accuracy characteristics. It is possible to solve tasks of navigation and control process of piloting on all stages of flight from take−off to approach on air lanes and optional routes on equipped and unequipped air routes including maneuvering in airdrome area under SID and STAR rules. A possibility to fly with vertical flight leveling in 300 m, early ground proximity warning, aircraft collision warning are provided. Negotiations of crew members are being documented. The duplex stable radio communication with services of Air Traffic Authorities is arranged as well as with the crews of other aircraft in MW and ДКМВ ranges.
The crew is being informed of work and parameter of all systems of the aircraft, receives texts of emergency, warning and notifying signals with recommendations on counteracting of arisen situations. The data are being shown on a multifunction LC displays. Onboard video surveillance system mounted on AN−148 allows the crew to control constantly the situation in passenger compartments and service premises of the aircraft.
It is possible to install an optional equipment allowing improvement of conditions of work of the crew, to increase level of passengers comfort during the flight. For instance, it is possible to:
- send messages in ACARS mode;
- call crew on radio communication channels;
- provide passengers with information and entertaining audio and video programmes;
- provide passengers with phone and facsimile satellite commercial radio communication.
The level of the AN−148 passenger compartment comfort corresponds to those ones of the modern long−range airplanes. It is reached due to rational layout of service premises, ergonomic optimization of common and individual spaces of passenger cabin, use of modern seats, interior’s design and materials, as well as comfortable climatic conditions and low noise level. The passenger compartment is equipped with the informational – entertaining system. Hand luggage can be placed into the closable over−head shelves. The total volume of these shelves of 4,2 cubic m is the biggest in the class of regional and short−range aircraft. The total volume of baggage and cargo compartments situated under the passenger compartment floor and in the tail part of AN−148 is 14,6 cubic m.
The complex of aviation security measures is provided at AN−148. The aircraft is equipped with bullet−proof doors, means of communication between crew and flight attendants, the video observation system, the place for weapon and ammunition storage, masked aisles, antithief devices, special means for placing an explosive device in case of finding it onboard during a flight.
Maintenance of the AN−148 meets the international standards requirements (ICAO, MSG−3) and provides support of the aircraft airworthiness within the operational life cycle on conditions with the activity of up to 300−375 hrs per month with the coefficient of readiness more than 99% with minimization of expenditures on maintenance (1,3 per/hr per 1 flight hour; 30 min.− transit maintenance (A1); and 2 hours to replace an engine). At present, the Information center on the customer support is working around the clock.
On February 26, 2007 the AN−148 airplane, its engine Д−436−148 and APU AИ−450−MC got the Type Certificates issued by the Aviation Register of Interstate Aviation Committee and State Aviation Administration of Ukraine.
The aircraft certification was conducted in accordance with CБ−148 certification basis developed on the base of CIS АП−25 requirements and CS−25 European ones. The AN−148 meets noise requirements of Chapter IV of the Annex 16 of the ICAO Convention, (volume I “Aviation noise” with amendments till the seventh inclusive) and requirements of Part 36 of АП−36 Aviation Rules. As to the emission the aircraft meets the requirements of the chapter of Annex 16 of the ICAO Convention (volume II “Emission of the aviation engines” with the amendments till the fourth including) and АП−34 Aviation Rules requirements.
AN−148 performed the first flight on December 17, 2004.
In March 2005 it confirmed the design characteristics in flights at the big angles of attack. The airplane was put into a stall mode at various altitudes. It was done at positions of wing high−lift devices and landing gear, typical for different phases of a passenger jet’s flight. In almost all configurations the aircraft clearly distinguished natural indications of approach to a stall. Behavior of the airplane at angles of attack corresponding to a stall and during recover from the stall was auspicious and complied with the Aviation Rules requirements.
Tests under natural icing conditions were important for the safe operation of the aircraft in Russia. In April 2005, the AN−148 completed them successfully in Arkhangelsk region. 14 flights with total duration of 40.5 hrs were performed. During the flights the maximal intensity of ice accretion was 3.33 mm per minute at the temperature of outdoor air of − 23°C. It was necessary to check−up: work of antiicing system (AIS) of wing, tail unit, engine air intakes; ice detectors; automatic AIS subsystems control, as well as estimation of cockpit windows heating effectiveness. Forms and sizes of the ice deposit on wing and stabilizer surfaces were studied both with functioning and disconnected AIS. Besides, during practical flights aerodynamic characteristics at normal functioning of AIS and when simulating failures of the wing and horizontal tail AIS were confirmed. Fuel consumption during flight with icing was measured. Behavior of the aircraft with icing and one engine failure simulation as well as the work of flight and navigation equipment and other ones was studied. Technologies of carrying out different forms of the aircraft technical service when operating under northern conditions were developed.
In July 2005 both AN−148 were tested under the absolutely different conditions having performed a number of flights in Uzbekistan where the temperature of an ambient air reached +45°C. Then they flew to Armenia and started the following phase of tests – under conditions of high mountains. AN−148s based at Gumri airport placed 1,525 m above the sea level.
The results of tests shown that real characteristics met the design ones, and confirmed the safety of the AN−148 aircraft family operation under conditions of high temperature of ambient air and high mountains. Thus the aircraft can be operated safely in the Southern regions of Russia, countries of Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America.
In August 2005 the AN−148 programme of flights was continued. In particular major completely characteristics of stability and controllability of the aircraft were checked. The noise level was studied, the flights in order to determine minimal lift−off speeds including those ones with engine failure simulation were performed. The necessary mathematical provision was worked out. The important stage of the certification process became the flights with 5 variants of ice simulators glued on the wing under the hardest conditions of icing. Those tests were necessary for checking behavior of the aircraft under the hardest conditions of icing. The certification tests on passengers and crew evacuation in case of an emergency landing were also completed. They were fulfilled at night with a number of complicating factors including objects of hand baggage scattered along the passenger compartment. As it is stipulated by certification rules, the emergency exits from one board of the airplane only were used for evacuation. 74 persons who were onboard left the airplane within 47 seconds while the norm was 90 seconds.
During the period from December 27, 2005 to January 29, 2006 the first and second AN−148 prototypes carried out the full cycle of tests on the ground and in the air under the temperature of down to −52 °C. Tests were conducted under severe winter conditions of Sakha Republic and completely confirmed the possibility of operation under such severe climatic conditions. On the aircraft starts of the main engines and APU were performed. Operation of air conditioning, air pressure control systems, avionics, furnishing equipment as well as control, hydraulic, fuel systems and landing gear was tested. The gas dynamics stability of main engines and gravity fuel feed were tested as well. AN−148’s take−off and landing characteristics, its engines’ altitude−airspeed performance were tested. The tests had been fulfilled in accordance with the programme, approved by designers of the airplane, airborne equipment and certification centres, Aviation Register of Interstate Aviation Committee and State Aviation Service of Ukraine.
In June 2006 the AN−148−100B completed an important stage of certificate tests on determination of aircraft compliance with general airworthiness requirements while simulating failure of the hydraulic, fuel, flight control, other systems, engine and APU. Within this stage AN−148 prototype performed 23 flights. As a result, it was proved that according to the modern airworthiness requirements AN−148 design provides the aircraft safety completion of a flight in case of any its important onboard system failure. It was reached due to doubling and redundancy of the main systems as well as timely disclosure the failures occurred and change the channels with reserve ones.
During the certification test programme both AN−148 prototypes performed about 600 flights as a total. Strength and fatigue tests were also completed.
In November 2007 AN−148 passed tests on extension of operation conditions on unpaved RWs. Test were performed from unpaved RW of “Odessa” airdrome. In the result it has been proved the aircraft can be successfully used on such airfields.
Within a period from the 17th of November to the 1st of December 2008 АN−148−100 have successfully passed additional certification tests to fly by P−RNAV system. The tests were performed in areas of P−RNAV airdromes of Helsinki (Finland) and Bergen (Norway) in accordance with terminal procedures of those airdromes.
On the 19th of August 2009, the aircraft received Addition to the Type Certificate, which confirmed compliance of the AN−148−100 with precision navigation requirements (RNP−1). It allows the aircraft operation in the airports with intensive traffic, in particular, in the European countries.
In March 2010 Aviation Register of Interstate Aviation Committee issued Addition to the AN−148 Type Certificate, confirming the ability of the aircraft to carry out automatic landing in accordance with ICAO category IIIA. To obtain this certification, the airplane performed more than 110 test flights with approaches at different airports of Ukraine.
The AN−148 is serially produced at ANTONOV Serial Plant (Ukraine) and Voronezh Aircraft Building Joint Stock Company (Russia).
In June 2009 AN−148 entered into operation. These airplanes perform flights both on the domestic and international air routes. Monthly flying time of several AN-148 exceeded 400 hours.
Following customers’ demands and studying their requirements, ANTONOV Company and its partners are working on further development of the AN−148 family. In February 2011, the 99−seat AN−158 was certified. Special-purpose medevac AN-148-100EM, VIP-version of the AN-148-100EA and 89-seat AN-148-200 were developed, built, certified and passed into operation. ANTONOV is also designing new airplanes of the family. One of them is the high-comfortable AN-148-300 to carry passengers over a distances up to 7000 km. On the basis of this long-range aircraft, ANTONOV is developing an advanced AN-148-300MP, which is intended for maritime patrol and resistance to trespassers, electromagnetic radiation and communication facilities intelligence, pollution response role, SAR missions.
New AN-178 transport with payload of 15-18 t, which performed its maiden flight on May 7, 2015, became the further development of the AN-148 and AN-158 family.