The Antonov state enterprise (Kiev) has announced the blocking of a program for re-motorization of An-2 airplanes operated in Russia, under which about 500 such airplanes were to receive new engines manufactured by Honeywell (United States), the Russian publication Vzglyad writes, citing DOSAAF’s Deputy Chairman Viktor Chernov.

The program for re-motorization of An-2 airplanes is being implemented by the Chaplygin Siberian Aviation Research Institute (Novosibirsk). The KB Antonov firm, which is the developer of this airplane, is blocking the program from the viewpoint of issuance of permits to fly modernized, re-motorized An-2 airplanes,” said Chernov.

According to experts, demand for the upgraded crop dusters will be sufficiently high. More than 1,000 airplanes are in need of re-motorization.

The American-made Honeywell turboprop engines improve the airplanes’ fuel economy nearly threefold and reduce its operating costs. "The engine has better altitude characteristics, the ceiling is increased to 6,000 meters from 4,000 meters, and the range will increase to 1,300 kilometers, i.e. the increase in range will be up to 50%," said Chernov.

According to him, the first 15 airplanes are currently in the stage of modernization. This is the volume of the pilot program designed for the current year.

The Antonov state enterprise received orders for supply of An-2-100 airplanes - a modernized version of the famous crop dusters - from Russia, Azerbaijan, and Cuba in July last year. The main difference of this model is that it has a power plant with an MS-14 turboprop thrust engine developed by the Motor Sich company (Zaporozhe). One of the advantages of this engine is transition from aviation gasoline, which is not produced in CIS countries, to aviation kerosene. A fully equipped An-2-100 airplane is 200 kilograms lighter than an An-2 airplane.