New Saudi-Ukrainian airplane test-flown successfully

Mon, 2017-04-03 03:00

JEDDAH: The test flight of the new Saudi-Ukrainian light-weight multi-purpose airplane Antonov AN-132 took place on Saturday.
It was flown for an hour and 40 minutes over Ukrainian territory by retired Gen. Muhammad bin Saeed Aiyash, accompanied by Ukrainian pilots and technicians. The pilots were received by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko as the plane landed.
The craft can ascend to 28,000 feet with a load of up to 9.2 tons, and can fly more than 4,500 kilometers.
It uses twin Pratt & Whitney A-150 engines and an advanced electronic system.
The supervisor general of the Special Programs Department at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Khaled Al-Hassan, said the plane will fly over the Kingdom soon.
“Work is progressing as planned. Success would be producing this plane as scheduled despite the challenges that face such aircraft technology-transfer projects,” Al-Hassan added.
He said KACST owns 50 percent of the project, and the plane is the first in a production line that will be set in Ukraine and Saudi Arabia with the participation of engineers and technicians from both countries.
The executive president of Taqnia Aeronautics, retired Gen. Ali bin Muhammad Al-Ghamdi, said Saudi Arabia will start manufacturing 35 percent of the plane and eventually reach 100 percent.
The company has signed three agreements with the KACST to take part in manufacturing a multi-purpose helicopter by US-based Sikorsky Aircraft.
It has also signed deals to manufacture drones, plane bodies and other components made of carbon and metal materials.

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