31-03-2017 / ANTONOV NEW AIRCRAFT AN−132D TAKES ITS MAIDEN FLIGHT
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 4th April, 2017 − ANTONOV’s new multipurpose aircraft, the AN−132D, took to the skies for its maiden flight on Friday 31st March 2017, from the company’s airfield in Kyiv, Ukraine.
The prototype of the new aircraft flew for 1 hour and 50 minutes, captained by Victor Goncharov, Test Pilot 1st class, ANTONOV, co−piloted by Bohdan Zagoruyko, Test Pilot 2nd class, ANTONOV, and accompanied by Test Pilot General Mohammed Ayash of the Taqnia Aeronautics Company, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Volodymyr Nesterenko, a leading ANTONOV test flight engineer, was also on board the flight, which was escorted by a new AN−178 jet transport.
The AN−132 programme is being developed following a contract with a customer from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in close cooperation with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the Тaqnia Aeronautics Company. Leading suppliers of the global aircraft industry are involved in the project.
Piotr Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, visited the AN−132D and the aircraft creators at the ANTONOV Company's flight test base and thanked the participants of the programme.
"I am proud of my compatriots, thousands of employees of ANTONOV Company and other Ukrainian enterprises, who have and continue to work to launch the series production of this aircraft," he said.
"Today the important event has happened − the aircraft rose in the sky.
"I saw the aircraft landing. It was well executed!"
Oleksandr A. Kotsiuba, President, ANTONOV, congratulated colleagues and partners alike on the successful completion of this stage of the programme’s development.
"The next important step will be the presentation of the AN−132D in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will be conducted after the completion of more aircraft tests," said Kotsiuba.
In turn, Dr. Khaled Abdullah Alhussain, Director of National Aerospace Technology, Center of King Abdulaziz City Science and Technology, emphasised the importance of the AN−132 for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He expressed confidence that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be a hospitable environment for the aircraft and that the AN−132D will become a native of the country.
The AN−132D multipurpose turboprop aircraft is intended for operation on short and medium−haul routes.
The new aircraft will perform a variety of tasks, such as the transportation of raw materials, mail and other cargo, including bulk cargo, ULDs, and light self−propelled and non−self−propelled vehicles weighing up to 9.2 tonnes.
The aircraft will also be deployed for emergencies, including civilian and casualty evacuation from disaster areas and airdropping paratroop rescue teams.