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Upgrade to help get Antonov production lines rolling again

[ August 18, 2011   //   ]

Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Group has reached agreement with Antonov to upgrade the first AN-124-100 Ruslan freighters to AN-124-111VD standard. The move could is a step towards relaunching serial production of the plane, according to Volga-Dnepr.

The agreement, signed at the MAKS-2011 International Aviation and Space Salon in Moscow on 17 August, envisage new digitally-controlled engines will give the modernised aircraft a take-off weight of 402 tons, a cargo lift capacity of 150 tons, a flight range of at least 5,000kms with a 120 tons payload and a minimum crew of three persons. Avionics and some of the aircraft systems will be replaced with digital systems.
Emission levels will also be reduced to ICAO Annex 16 volume 2 requirements and the plane will comply with Chapter IV noise regulations.
Moreover, the development work for the modernisation of the first aircraft will act as the main research and development programme for the eventual launch of production of a new-build AN-124-300 freighter.

Dmytro Kiva, President and General Designer of Antonov, and Alexey Isaikin, President of Volga-Dnepr Group, signed an agreement to upgrade the giant freighter in Moscow on 17 August.