April 4 - Antonov's AN-132D multipurpose turboprop aircraft has completed its maiden flight from the company's airfield in Kiev, Ukraine.

 According to Antonov, the AN-132 programme is being developed following a contract with a customer from Saudi Arabia in close cooperation with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the Тaqnia Aeronautics Company. 

Petro Poroshenko, the president of Ukraine, visited the AN-132D and the aircraft creators at the company's flight test base.

According to Oleksandr A. Kotsiuba, Antonov's president: "The next important step will be the presentation of the AN-132D in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will be conducted after the completion of more aircraft tests."

Dr. Khaled Abdullah Alhussain, director of National Aerospace Technology, King Abdulaziz City Science and Technology, emphasised the importance of the AN-132D for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The AN-132D multipurpose turboprop aircraft is intended for operation on short and medium-haul routes and will perform a variety of tasks, such as the transportation of raw materials, mail and other cargo, including bulk cargo, unit load devices, and light self-propelled and non-self-propelled vehicles weighing up to 9.2 tonnes.

The aircraft will also be deployed for emergencies, including civilian and casualty evacuation from disaster areas and airdropping paratroop rescue teams.

Antonov's multipurpose aircraft, the AN-132D.

Speaking with HLPFI, Antonov advised that while there are no plans for further production of its mainstay AN-124 aircraft, the company is focussing on the maintenance of its existing fleet, operating life extension programmes as well as replacing Russian components with Ukrainian and Western equipment.

While the production of a second AN-225, the world's largest aircraft, continues at a cautious pace. Michael Goodisman, business development director, explained that cautious progress is being made since the letter of intent, which was signed in September 2016 between the company and the Aerospace Industry Corporation of China (AICC).

Antonov's mainstay, AN-124.