On July 29th 2014 assembly of fuselage of the first An−178 medium transport aircraft on the jig has been completed by Antonov State Enterprise, the company’s press-service reports.
“Now the final assembly of the aircraft starts: junction of major airframe components (wing, empennage, pylons, nacelles, etc.), installation of aircraft systems, testing of aircraft equipment and preparation of the aircraft for its maiden flight and certification testing. The special aspect of this project is usage of paperless technology during design and production of the aircraft. The technology uses state-of-the-art PLM software NX/TeamCenter comprising electronic annotated 3D models, which help decrease development time and labor intensity of design, production and assembly of the first prototype”, - the company noted.
An−178 is the new member of An−148/158 Family (the passenger aircraft of the family are able to carry from 68 to 99 passengers). The jets demonstrated good results during operation under various climatic and weather conditions, from unpaved and high-altitude airfields.
Development of An−178 is based on market studies. Modern trend in the area of development of ramp military aircraft is replacement of four-engine turboprop medium aircraft with twinjets. Having close fuel consumption per hour, twinjets provide higher efficiency thanks to higher cruising speed. President – General Designer of Antonov State Enterprise, Dmitry Keeva, said: “An−178 is our future! We are developing this vehicle using vast experience of older generation of Antonov’s employees combined with the cutting-edge technologies successfully used by our younger specialists. The project is financed from our own funds. We are confident that An−178 will be among world’s best transport aircraft. In particular, it will be able to replace famous An−12 vehicles (more than 1400 aircraft of the type have been manufactured) and C−160 (more than 200 vehicles have been manufactured)”.
“An−178 will successfully perform all the tasks of a military transport aircraft, including logistic support, airdrop of cargo and troops, medevac operations, transportation of light vehicles, delivery of equipment and engines. Besides, unique feature of the An−178 is ability to carry all the types of the existing palletized and containerized cargo, including large-size sea containers 1C. This makes the jet an irreplaceable transport in terms of provision of logistic support in both commercial and military segments, as well as in case of any emergencies”, - the press-service explained.
A.M. Kulik, Chairman of Sviatoshyn District State Administration in Kyiv, congratulated the employees of Antonov with achieving significant milestones in the network of An−178 program: “An−178 is what our economy and our country need. This project provides new jobs and cutting-edge technologies. I would like to thank Antonov for supporting our district, our city and the whole Ukraine”.