On July 29, 2014 a fuselage jig assembly of the first AN−178 new medium transport was completed. Since this moment works on the aircraft final assembly are starting at the enterprise – i.e. joining of main airframe units (wing, empennage, pylons, nacelles, etc.), installation of aircraft systems, development of aircraft equipment and preparation of the aircraft to its first flight and beginning of certification tests. This projects’ feature is that paperless technology of design and items’ manufacture, based on development in modern PLM environment of NX/TeamCenter electronic annotated 3D models, was firstly applied in its full capacity at the ANTONOV Company. Owing to this, time and laboriousness of design, launch in production and the first prototype manufacturing were considerably reduced.
The AN−178 is the further development of the AN−148 and AN−158 family, basing aircraft of which are intended to carry from 68 to 99 passengers. They acquired good reputation while being operated in various climatic and weather conditions, on unpaved and high−altitude airfields.
The AN−178 creation is based on researches of market requirements. Modern tendency of development of ramp military aircraft is replacement of four−engined turboprop medium aircraft with twin−jets. Having close fuel consumption by the hour, twin−jets provides much higher efficiency owing to higher cruising speed. According to Dmytro Kiva, President – General Designer: “The AN−178 is our future! We create this aircraft, putting in it wide experience of elder generation of Antonov’s workers with the newest technologies, that our youth successfully assimilate and implement. The project is financed with costs, earned by our collective. We are sure, that the AN−178 will take a good place among transport aircraft of the world. Besides, it will be able to replace famous AN−12 (more 1400 airplanes were produced) and C−160 (more 200 airplanes)”.
The AN−178 will effectively perform all main tasks of military transport aircraft, such as logistic support of troops, carrying and airdropping of cargoes and little military divisions, transportation of injured, light equipment, delivery of equipment and engines. Besides, unique feature of the AN−178 is ability to carry all the type of the existing packaged freights (containerized and palletized ones), including high−capacity containers 1C (sea containers). This makes it an indispensable transport to provide logistic support in both commercial and military segments, as well as operations under emergency situations.
Olexandr Kulyk, Chairman of Sviatoshyn District State Administration in Kyiv, congratulated the Antonov’s collective with execution of significant part of the AN−178 program: “The AN−178 is right what our economics and country need. Here are working places and the most innovative technologies. I would like to thank Antonov for its help, given to the district, city, Ukraine. I am sure, together we will win!”
Source / Author: Antonov