The Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer is currently in negotiations with officials of Canada’s Quebec province on the subject of jointly constructing a multi-purpose aircraft for
transporting cargo consignments or passengers. At which stage they are in the negotiations has not yet been revealed by the participants.
At first glance, the project is very surprising because aircraft manufacturer Antonov and the province of Quebec are two protagonists that have little to do with each other. Apart from the fact
that Bombardier, which now belongs to Airbus, is based in the eastern Canadian province. So what brought them together to possibly join forces in potentially developing an up-to-date version of
the AN-74TK-200? Presumably, it is the special characteristics of this aircraft, which is particularly suited for operations in snowy regions and requires only short runways for takeoffs and
landings; common conditions throughout many areas of Quebec.
Distinctive Nozzle Positions
Its most distinctive feature compared to other aircrafts is its two nozzles, which do not hang under the wings but are attached to the leading edge of the wings. As a result, the jetstream
emanating from the engines runs along the top of the wings. This results in a faster airflow to the affected areas than beneath the wings. Thanks to this alteration of the flows, the aircraft can
become airborne after a very short takeoff phase. In addition, the position of the nozzles prevents snow from being sucked in, which gives the aircraft clear operational advantages over planes
with engines mounted below the wings.
A Win-Win Deal?
The AN-74 is almost 40 years old. Its inaugural flight took place in 1983. Operators describe the plane as particularly robust, having low susceptibility to faults and as a result is widely
regarded as service-friendly and reliable. From the point of view of the state-owned air framer Antonov, cooperating with Quebec in jointly building a new AN-74-200 variant would be ideal. A
thoroughly modernized version would be eligible to receive certification for all of North America, opening new doors and thus markets for the manufacturer and serving as a springboard for further
joint projects. All the same, there will probably be a lot of water flowing down the St. Lawrence River before that happens.
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