Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing and services firm Antonov has successfully completed ground tests on An-178, its short-range medium-airlift transport aircraft.
The tests involved loading and unloading light wheeled self−propelled vehicles to evaluate their entry into the cargo cabin, as well as the aircraft's accomodation and storage.
The trials were performed using three high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs), Antonov said in a statement.
Antonov president Oleksandr Kotsiuba said: “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 ten such airplanes to airlines of Azerbaijan. Works on the aircraft series production was launched at Antonov Series plant.”
To date, the aircraft has performed about 100 flights with a total duration of 160 hours.
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The An-178 will continue its flight tests, which will include loading and unloading containerised and palletised cargoes.
Available in both civil and military configurations, the An-178 is expected to replace aging aircraft such as Antonov An-12, Antonov An-26 and Antonov An-32.
Based on the An-158 aircraft, An-178's airframe is built using aluminium alloys and composite materials and its base platform can be developed into a number of civil and military variants.
Image: Antonov's An-178 completed tests to transport light wheeled self−propelled vehicles. Photo: courtesy of Antonov.