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American light aircraft engines 'to be produced in Siberia'

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09 July 2015


Siberian Research Institute of Aviation to produce American aircraft engines. Picture: Vadim Makhorov/dedmaxopka.livejournal.com

A contract is expected 'in August' on the localisation of production to modernise the Soviet-era Antonov An-2 using the Western engines, say Russian sources. 

Vladimir Barsuk, director of the Siberian Research Institute of Aviation, said: 'Most likely, in August, will be signed contracts about the beginning of the localisation of collecting of aircraft engines. 

'Initially, it is planned, this will be at our Institute and as we develop the technology we will create a production company. We agreed all with the Americans.'

The beginning of production could be in autumn. The first engines collected in Novosibirsk will be installed on the aircraft An-2. During 2016 - 2017 years it is planned to modernize this way 150-200 aircrafts.

He added: 'Unfortunately in Russia there are no engines similar to the American. Russia makes great engines for fighters, good reliable engines for passenger aircraft - and nothing for small aircrafts. 

'This is because in Soviet times all the production of light aircraft was in Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia. We did not have it since the 1950s, and our competence in the field of construction of light aircraft and engines we unfortunately lost.'

A test flight of a modified An-2 biplane with redesigned, winglet-like braces and carbonfibre wing structures, was announced last month by Sukhoi.

The plane was equipped with a five-bladed turboprop engine which, though not identified, was suspected to be the Honeywell TPE331 installed on a modernised version of the An-2 that entered service last year.

The test flight was 'successful', and the design change increases the An-2 speed by 50%, claimed Sukhoi. The plane is widely used for agricultural uses.

Honeywell is a Fortune 100 company. 

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