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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

First AN-140s Begun

MOSCOW -- Aircraft builder Aviakor, based in the Volga River city of Samara, said Wednesday it had begun production of five Antonov AN-140 passenger aircraft.

Gennady Shugurov, project manager for the 52-passenger AN-140 at Aviakor, said the first of the planes would be rolled out by year end and the four others would be finished before July 2001.

"The construction of these AN-140s and all subsequent Antonovs [at Aviakor] are entirely financed by the Siberian Aluminum consortium."

The Ukrainian-designed turboprop plane is a joint project of Kiev's Antonov design bureau and local aircraft manufacturers. With an estimated cost of $8.5 million, it is believed to be the world's cheapest medium-range aircraft.

Shugurov said national carrier Aeroflot had already placed orders for 50 of the aircraft.

"Overall demand in Russia for the An-140 is about 450 aircraft in the next decade," he said.