Honeywell International Details New Siberian Aviation Contract
Honeywell International has finalized a contract with Russia’s Siberian Research Institute of Aviation to modernize Soviet-era Antonov An-2 aircraft by manufacturing U.S.-designed engines locally.
According to a report in The Siberian Times, the contract calls for the Southern California-based multinational conglomerate to oversee the production and aftermarket support of an expected 300 TPE331 three-bladed, turboprop engines.
The engines are part of a “major upgrade” of a fleet of 150-plus modernized An-2s that entered service last year. Work on the re-engine project is expected to be completed by the end of 1017.
The initial contract may also yield “additional opportunities for future collaboration on the An-2 program,” perhaps including upgrades to avionics and or the An-2 cockpit, according to the report.
A test flight of a modified, re-engined An-2 biplane with redesigned winglet-like braces and carbon-fiber wing structures was announced last month. The test flight was successful, and the design change increases the An-2 speed by 50 percent.
A workhorse utility aircraft that debuted in 1946, the Antonov An-2 is a single-engine biplane that has served all over the world in a variety of military and civilian roles from cargo transport and flying ambulance to crop sprayer and water-dropping forest fire fighter.
Its short takeoff and landing requirements, large payload capacity, and ability to operate out of “unprepared fields make it ideal for all sorts of tasks it might be called upon to perform in the Siberian wilderness,” the paper said.
Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.