12 Sep 2019 11:31

Mongolian co to re-engine An-2 planes according to Russian design - paper

MOSCOW. Sept 12 (Interfax) - Russian-American-Mongolian company Mongolian Aircraft Industries (MAI) plans to start re-engining used An-2 aircraft according to the TVS-2MS design of Novosibirsk's SibNIA in 2020 for subsequent sale in Mongolia and Southeast Asia, national daily Kommersant reported on Thursday.

The company plans to buy airframes of the used Soviet planes, outfit them with Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67B engines and Garrett GTCP30-92 auxiliary power units, and then sell them in Mongolia, Southeast Asia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the paper cited MAI co-owner and chairman Naranbat Nasanbat as saying.

The aircraft will be outfitted with a glass cockpit, additional emergency doors, an anti-icing system for the wings and weather radar. The aircraft will be capable of ascending to an altitude of 7,000 meters and fly 255 km/h, and will have a range of 1,600-1,800 km.

MAI estimates the first phase of investment at $8 million-$10 million. It plans to invest about $2 million of its own money and raise the remainder from banks. The investor held talks with Russian state bank VEB.RF in the summer and is now finalizing the business plan for the project to submit an application for financing, the paper said.

VEB.RF said it is familiar with the project to build the aircraft in Mongolia, and that a "decision on VEB.RF's participation in financing will be made after an evaluation is done."

If the application is approved, MAI will build a prototype by the end of this year and submit the aircraft for certification in March 2020.

The airframes will be purchased in Mongolia, Russia and China. The company estimates the size of the Mongolian market at $40 million, or 32 planes. MAI expects to meet this demand by 2022, after which it will try to enter the Southeast Asian market. The company plans to assemble eight to 12 aircraft in 2020, and design capacity is 48 aircraft per year. MAI expects to recoup its investment in three years.

"The re-engined aircraft will cost an average of $1.6 million, while a new Swiss Pilatus PC-6 costs $2.2 million on the market, and an American Cessna 208 costs $2.75 million. The aircraft will have a maximum payload of 1,500 kg, compared to the Pilatus PC-6's 1,130 kg and the Cessna 208's 1,400 kg, the paper said.

MAI was formed in early 2019. Besides Nasanbat, its owners are Novosibirsk's Limbus Flight Research Center JSC and U.S. consulting firm Gage International, the co-owner of GN Beverages, Pepsi's exclusive distributor in Mongolia, and telecom company GemNet.