Within the period from 27 to 30 of September 2012 the An−70 military transport STOL aircraft performed three test flights after completion of works on deep upgrading of its airborne equipment.
Within the process of the trials, the new and upgraded systems of the aircraft including engine, propfans, aircraft and wing high−lift devices control systems as well as crew environmental control system were checked. As a result, readiness of the AN−70 to perform test programme agreed by the Ministries of defense of Russian Federation and Ukraine had been confirmed.
Dmytro Kiva, President – General Designer of ANTONOV Company noted: “the test flights of the upgraded An−70 became an important stage in the programme of this aircraft”.
Work on the aircraft upgrading included improvement of power plant by installation of a modernized fan to provide lower noise level and improved control system of engine and propfan. Auxiliary power plant (APU) was replaced with a new one, which is able to work in a widen conditions of operation.
Besides, practically all avionics of the AN−70, including indicators in the cockpit were upgraded in connection with updating the element base and necessity to perform new tasks on customer’s demands. At the same time, mathematic models and algorithms of control systems of the aircraft and its components were not changed. Owing to this, continuity of the tests performed earlier was provided and the obtained results were recognized.
20 flights are expected to be performed during the preliminary tests of the upgraded AN-70. Experts from Ministries of Defense of Russian Federation and Ukraine will participate in the programme of test flights. After that, a final stage of joint State tests including 75 flights will start.
Crews and technicians involved in this programme had been trained in the training centre of Antonov Company. Upgraded investigating piloting stand of the AN−70 intended for development of the aircraft systems, in particular, autopilot system, test of their failure safety, simulation of various situations of trials as well as training of pilots was entered into operation.
In the period of the aircraft preparation for the ferry flight from Kiev, where upgrading had been performed, to the flight test base in Gostomel, representatives of Ministry of Defense of RF: A.Zelin, assistant of Minister of Defense, and N.Osykovyi, a leading test−pilot Hero of Russia, conducted audit of the AN−70 programme. In particular, they participated in the tests for serviceability of the aircraft systems, including APU and main engines. Representatives of the customer concluded that the AN−70 was ready to a final stage of the tests.