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AN-148

An-148 is a family of modern regional aircraft designed for passenger, cargo-passenger and cargo transportation on domestic and international routes. The aircraft was designed by ANTONOV Aeronautical Scientific/Technical Complex. The aircraft manufacturing is carried out under license at JSC Voronezh Aircraft Manufacturing Company (VASO JSC), Voronezh, Russia.

An-148-100 aircraft is certified in compliance with AP-25 Aviation Regulations for civil aircraft, harmonized with CS-25 European Norms. Noise level requirements are in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 4 of Annex 16 to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and Volume II of Annex 16 concerning engine emission level requirements. An-148 maintenance is carried out in accordance with international standards (ICAO, MSG-3) and ensures airworthiness of the aircraft during its life cycle.

AN-148 is the first aircraft developed in the CIS countries with application of computer-aided technologies that allowed to accelerate and lighten considerably the process of testing and launch the airplane in production as well as to perform work in a wide international cooperation. The design solutions implemented in the AN-148 provide it with a number of advantages. One of them is considerably higher level of engine and wing structure protectability from damage with foreign objects due to scheme of a high-wing monoplane with engines on pylons under the wing. AN-148 can be safety operated at poor-equipped, unpaved, ice- and snow-covered runways. Modern navigation and radio communication equipment, implementation of multifunction indicators, fly-by-wire system permit to use AN-148 on any air route, under VFR and IFR weather conditions, at day and night, including the routes with high-density traffic.

An-148s interior is planned with comfort for passengers in mind. Overall, the aircraft is highly competitive with long-range liners in the level of comfort. Rationally planned system of service areas, ergonomically optimized individual and general areas, modern seats, up-to-date interior design as well as quality environment and minimal noise level in the cabin meet all international standards of the aviation industry.

The level of the AN-148 passenger compartment comfort corresponds to those one of the modern long-range airplanes. It is reached due to rational layout of service premises, ergonomic optimization of common and individual space of passenger cabin, use of modern seats, interiors design and materials and also with making comfortable climatic conditions and low noise level. The informational and entertaining system is set in the passenger compartment. The possibility to use the mobile phones and internet during a flight is provided for passengers. Hand luggage can be placed into the closable over-head shelves. The total volume of the shelves of 4,2 cubic m is the biggest in the class of regional and short-range aircraft.

At the beginning of 1990s Antonov Design Bureau under the leadership of by P.V. Balabuev started design work on a An-74-68 passenger aircraft. Detail design of the aircraft with the new designation as An-148 [148 = 2 x 74] was started in 2001. An-74-300 transport aircraft was taken as a basis. The wing was designed from scratch, fuselage length was extended and engines D-436-148 with FADEC system were used. Production of the first 3 prototypes started in Kiev in 2002. Preparations for serial production began in 2003 in Kharkov and Voronezh.

The O.K. Antonov Complex assembled the first three specimens of the AN-148 in cooperation with the KSAPE, the Kyiv-based closed-type joint-stock company AVIONIKA, the public joint-stock company ElektronPrylad, the central design office Arsenal, the Zaporizhia-based tandem MOTOR SICH - PROGRESS.

The Ukrainian An-148 first took to the skies in December 2004. Certification was supposed to be completed in the first half of 2006. From the project's inception, serial production of the aircraft was awarded to the Voronezh Aircraft Factory (VASO), and Ukranian Aviant. But after the presidential elections in Ukraine, and a subsequent cool-off in bilateral relations, VASO shelved the project. Only later did the An-148 had received the green light. In late November 2005, VASO and Antonov ASTC concluded a license agreement for launching the aircraft into commercial production in Russia in 2006.

With support from the government and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian Aviant aircraft plant was to produce five new An-148-100 aircraft in 2010. "Until recently, production at the Kyiv and Kharkiv aircraft plants had come to a stop, and only in the last year, thanks to the support of the government and Yulia Tymoshenko personally, aircraft companies received financial support that allowed them to resume production. The government's decisions will allow them to operate in the future. Before this, aviation hadnt received real assistance from any government," Principal Designer of the Antonov Design Bureau Dmytro Kiva said in January 2010.

In September 2011 Antonov announced a plan to sell 440 An-148 regional jet aircraft and 240 An-158 regional jet aircraft by 2024. Principal customers are expected to be from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Myanmar and Bolivia. Currently contracts are already signed to supply 47 An-148 regional jet aircraft and 20 An-158 aircraft. Antonov projected that it would build 24 aircraft per year (mostly An-148 regional jet aircraft and An-158 regional jet aircraft) for the next several years, and has taken a $300 mln loan to expand aircraft production.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said 28 September 2009 Either the [aircraft building] sector revives in 2011-2012, or we will lose it forever, he said. He said that Ukraine currently produced six planes per year, while it needed to make 150. He said the government would push on with production of the An-148 and An-158 regional jets designed by the state-owned Antonov design bureau. He said aircraft construction would be freed from profit tax for 10 years and also said Ukraines aircraft-building industry would develop in partnership with Russia. The State Economic and Social Development Program of Ukraine for 2012 provided for increasing the production of modern aircraft, in particular, the production of Antonov An-148 aircraft.

The terms for promotion of perspective aircraft of the Antonov family AN-148/158/168 to the Indian market were discussed by Ukrainian and Indian partners during the international aerospace show Aero India 2011, held on February 9-13 in Bangalore (India). Supply of first AN-148 to the Indian market may start in summer next year. With the aim of ensuring the necessary conditions, a process of validation (approval) of the certificate of the AN-148 type is underway in India. During the meetings that took place within the frames of the exhibition, the issues were discussed on setting up a center of their servicing and formation of a system of post-sale support.

The President of Russias United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Mikhail A. Pogosyan, was reported in July 2011 to want to end production of An-148 regional aircraft at the Voronezh Aircraft Factory in Russia. Pogosyan, a designer of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, is reportedly worried that the new An-148 will replace that aircraft on the market. Ukraine may suffer from low production of An-148 regional jet aircraft in Russia in 2011, as the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association is expected to produce only 4 aircraft, instead of the 9 that were planned. Motor Sich had already produced 20 D-436 engines for the Russian-built twin-engine An-148, leading to a loss of $65 mln.

Russias Salut Company (Russia) is to suspend cooperation with Ukraines Ivchenko Corporation on production of D-436 engines for An-148 regional jet aircraft and Be-200 multipurpose amphibious aircraft, as well as the D-27 engine for An-70 military transport aircraft. The two engines are Ukrainian intellectual property; Russia was reportedly unwilling to pay royalties for the rights to manufacture the engines, and Ukraine was unwilling to accept a Russian proposal to create a joint enterprise on a parity basis. NPO Saturn (Yaroslavl region, Russia), Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) (Moscow Region, Russia) and Antonov (Ukraine) plan to equip the An-158 regional jet aircraft with the Russian-French Sa?146 engine. A memorandum was reportedly to be signed at Russias MAKS International Aviation and Space salon, held 16-21 August 2011.

Because of the unstable financing of the VASO and Antonov there were problems with the purchase of component parts suppliers require guarantees of payment for the order. In addition, the plants still did not come to the announced plans of the annual production of the An-148: VASO 24, Antonov 12 aircraft. In the year up to mid-2012, the Russian plant had released five An-148, and the Ukrainian company 2. The task is to prompt escalating of volumes of serial production of An-148/158 up to 30-40 aircraft a year, otherwise they will not be able to compete with world manufacturers of aircraft and aircraft equipment. In addition, at the plant Antonov there is a personnel problem: the average age of workers about 50 years.

State Enterprise "Antonov" within three years planned to reach annual production of 24 aircraft AN-148 and AN-158. Vice President, Deputy General Designer SE "Antonov" Alexander Kiva said 29 May 2013: "This year we put the task to produce, at least twelve aircraft in Kiev, while pushing the customer to reach a production of fifteen aircraft". Recall the recent delegation of the State Concern "Ukroboronprom" participated in the 9th International Exhibition and Conference on aerospace and defense technology "LAAD-2013", held in Brazil. The exhibition presented the joint exposition of the State Concern "Ukroboronprom" and participating companies, namely, "Ukrspecexport" GP DHZIF "Ukrinmash" and SE "Lorta." DK "Ukroboronprom" predstavlyavHeneralnyy director Sergei Gromov. In spite of concern presented Ukraine State Enterprise "Antonov", JSC "Motor Sich" and SE "CB" South "to them.

The aircraft is equipped with D-436-148 engine designed by the Zaporizhzhia-based Ivchenko-Progress Design Bureau and produced by JSC Motor Sich. It is actually the further modification of D-436T1 engines installed in Tu-334 plane. Motor Sich in the short-term has a mandate to supply engines for first 50 machines. Establishment of a joint venture confirms high demand for An-148/158-type aircrafts which is estimated by Illushin Finance at 400 items over next 15 years. However, given that Russians insist that demand could be twice as high if the aircraft is equipped with non-Motor-Sich engines, there is a risk of Motor Sichs involvement in the project decreasing in the mid to long-term.

Ukraine's largest aircraft engine producer, JSC Motor Sich, would sue Antonov Design Bureau if it agrees the Russian engines SaM-146 for the An-148 airplane, Motor Sich director Viacheslav Bohuslayev said 03 August 2010. In his words, Antonov Aeronautical Scientific/Technical Complex (Antonov ASTC) pledged to place engines, produced by Motor Sich, on the first 50 planes An-148. "The design bureau is entitled to equip the plane with other engine, starting from the 51st plane," Bohuslayev explained.

He also said he had sent official letters to 27 companies that supply components for the Ukrainian engine D-436 asking to support installation of the Motor Sich engine for An-148. Bohuslayev noted that, according to calculations the company, payback of the program for D-436 engine production is designed for output of 100 engines.

Russia Airlines had decided to send Antonov-148 for Russia's Voronezh Aircraft Plant (VASO) to explore the possibility of using the Russian-French engine SaM146 for An-148. The Motor Sich chief considered this turn of events as pressure on the company: "Russia wants us to lower the cost of the engine, but this won't happen, because we have certified products and demand for them." According to Bohuslayev, Voronezh Aircraft Plant can not perform the design without the approval of Antonov SE.

In 2013, North Korea signed a deal with Ukraine's Antonov aircraft company to lease two An-148 jets. The move was to enhance North Koreas aging aviation fleet. A second Antonov An-148 was delivered to North Korea from Ukraine on March 14, bringing the total number of the twin-engine commercial aircraft in service by North Korea's state-run airline, Air Koryo, to two. The new jet has a capacity of 75 seats with the tail number P-572; it also has a white fuselage and a gray lower deck. It has the name Air Koryo and the North Korean national flag painted on it, although there is no red stripe a symbol of the carrier along the windows, the officials said. The features of the new jet suggest that North Korea would use it on international flights for ordinary passengers, but it could also be used by Kim Jong-un and other top officials if necessary.

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