Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ukraine's state-run Antonov aircraft company starts flight testing of engine for An-178

February 11, 2016 (UNIAN News Agency) Ukraine’s state enterprise Antonov has started flight testing of D-436-148FM turbofan engines created for the prospective user, transport aircraft Antonov An-178. On February 5, an An-178 prototype, with the new engine mounted on its wing, made its first flight, Antonov’s spokesperson told. As for the second engine in the power plant, engineers chose D-436-748, which powers An-148/158 aircraft. 

The new engine took to the skies two months after its first start on December 9 at the facility of Ivchenko-Progress, which designed the engine in cooperation with another Ukrainian engine-maker, Motor-Sich. The upgraded engine has increased take-off thrust: 7010 kg as compared to the predecessor, D-436-148, which has a take-off thrust of 6570 kg.  Because the fan casing was made larger, an increased volume of air passes through the engine. Additionally, a better noise insulation system was developed. The first An-178 prototype started a flight test program in May 2015. 

The second prototype is dedicated to fatigue testing. Serving as the transport version of the passenger An-148, the new An-178 aircraft is capable of carrying about 18 tons of cargo. Its launch customer is Azerbaijan cargo carrier Silk Way Airlines, which signed a letter of intent for 10 aircraft. A similar letter of intent for 30 aircraft was signed in December 2015 with a Saudi Arabian customer.