The newest application of Dowty Propellers’ proven R408 propeller systems has gone airborne with Antonov’s AN-132D twin-engine transport demonstrator, which performed its maiden flight from the Ukrainian company’s headquarters facility in Kiev on March 31.

Developed by Antonov in cooperation with Saudi Arabia, the AN-132D was airborne for 1 hour and 50 minutes during the first flight, which was witnessed by Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, along with Antonov employees, representatives from Saudi Arabia and the news media.

“The aircraft’s behaviour was very good, and it is easy to fly,” said Mohammed Ayash, the Transport Aircraft Director at Saudi Arabia’s Taqnia Aeronautics, who joined Antonov crewmembers as a pilot on the aircraft’s maiden test.

Dowty Propellers supports the AN-132D

Taqnia Aeronautics is involved with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in the AN-132D’s development and planned future production.

Dowty Propellers’ R408 propeller system and the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A turboprop engines that equip the AN-132D have logged millions of flight hours powering the Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 regional airliner. The propeller system has six all-composite blades with advanced swept design, providing excellent climb and cruise performance while generating low noise levels.

To support the AN-132D programme, Dowty Propellers assisted in the R408 propeller system’s integration and commissioning, while also providing training for personnel from both Antonov and KACST. Dowty Propellers is continuing its technical support during the AN-132D’s flight test phase, as well as the multi-purpose aircraft’s planned demonstration flights.