The Ukrainian Antonov AN−178 aircraft has passed ground tests of loading/unloading of light wheeled self−propelled vehicles.
The tests were performed using three HMMWVs and М1097А2. They are the designed characteristics of driving the vehicles in and out the cargo cabin, their accommodation and lashing inside the cabin.
“At present, certification tests of the AN−178 is one of the main tasks for our enterprise. We are testing the aircraft in accordance with requirements of European CS−25 norms. We have firm orders for delivery of 10 such airplanes to airlines of Azerbaijan. Works on the aircraft series production was launched at ANTONOV Series plant" said Oleksandr Kotsiuba, President of ANTONOV Company.
Until today the AN−178 performed about 100 flights with total duration of 160 hours. Nowadays, the aircraft is preparing to continue flight tests. Besides, it is planned to conduct tests of loading/unloading containerized and palletized cargoes, an Antonov press release said.
The An-178 has performed over 100 test flights with an overall duration of 160 hours, Antonov's press service reported. All the procedures are in line with Europe's CS-25 Large Aeroplanes requirements, Antonov CEO Oleksandr Kotsiuba said while commenting on the certification tests.
The An-178 aircraft was developed on the basis of the An-158 passenger plane and is designed to replace the An-12 transport plane. It is able to carry up to 18 tonnes of cargo, including large-sized 1C containers.
Antonov estimated that the demand for the An-178 model will reach 200 aircraft by 2032. The An-178 was earlier displayed at the Berlin Air Show 2016 where it carried out its maiden flight.
In June 2016, the Antonov aircraft plant and Azerbaijan's Azal signed a contract to supply 10 cargo An-178 planes to the country's Silk Way Airlines. The first two planes will be shipped by the middle of 2018 and then another eight will be built.
The Ukrainian plant has already received advance payment for the first two planes. The 10 aircraft are said to be the first batch as part of the deal. Antonov is Ukraine's largest and only manufacturer of transport, passenger and special-purpose planes.