Antonov has announced that its An-70 airlifter has completed its user trials, carried out jointly by the company and the Ukraine Ministry of Defence’s State Scientific and Test Centre (SSTC), and that the aircraft is ready for production.
Antonov Company has completed state joint tests of the AN-70 widebody STOL military transport.
In the process of ground and flight tests on the modernized aircraft a number of systems were checked and performance evaluated. For instance, the aircraft’s reliability, cargo capability, navigational ability and short takeoff and landing ability were tested.
Flight crew and engineering staff of the SSTC of the Armed Forces of Ukraine jointly carried out the tests with specialists from Antonov.
Antonov said the tests mean that serial production can now be launched. However, given the tension between Ukraine and Russia at present, the programme’s future is somewhat uncertain since Russia was involved in the project.
The AN-70 first flew decades ago, but was modernised and updated, a process which was completed in September 2012. Between then and March 31 this year, the aircraft performed 122 flights and flew 220 hours. In total it carried out 753 flights with total flight duration of 930 hours 48 minutes.
The An-70 has a maximum cargo capacity of 47 tonnes and a cargo hold size of 425 cubic meters. Thanks to its propfan engines, it has a very high cruising speed and can take off and land in short distances (6-800 metres).