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MOSCOW, May 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian aircraft Antonov State Company is blocking the re-motorization of the single-engine Antonov-2 biplane being used in Russia, while the US is not trying to hamper the program, Deputy Chairman of the patriotic military training organization DOSAAF Viktor Chernov told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.
The program is stalled as there are no operation permits for the modernized aircraft, he said.More than 1,000 planes need re-motorization. Once flights are permitted, 300-500 modernized planes will find high demand in both DOSAAF system and civil aviation, Chernov believes.
The first 15 planes are now being modernized with the US-built Honeywell turboprop engines under the experimental program for 2014. The new engines that would improve fuel consumption characteristics almost threefold and provide better cost effectiveness are appropriate for higher altitude, 6,000 meters against 4,000 meters, and increase the range 50% to 1,300 kilometers.
There was no information the program could be affected by US sanctions or other politics-related restrictions, Chernov added.