MOSCOW, August 6 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian aircraft-making company is planning to begin assembly of modernized Canadian regional Twin Otter planes in 2014, the Vedomosti business daily said Tuesday.
The Vityaz company, which is the first resident of the Ulyanovsk special economic zone in central Russia, estimates annual assembly of 24 utility aircraft developed by De Havilland Canada and currently produced by Viking Air.
The 19-passenger DHC-6 Twin Otter is optimal for operations in the Arctic and Russia’s extreme North, Vyacheslav Ilyushin, a spokesman for Aviasoyuz small and regional aviation association, told Vedomosti.
“Without waiting for the start of production, we have decided to purchase nine aircraft in Canada for the use by Chukotka Air,” he said.
Ilyushin said Twin Otter is a very versatile plane capable of taking off and landing on field airstrips with the length of only 600 meters. The plane can use different chassis depending on the terrain or assigned missions.
The official said the Russian project could turn profitable after the assembly of about 50 Twin Otters, while the potential commercial market for this type of aircraft is estimated at about 200 planes over 10 years.
The same number could be ordered by the military, police and emergencies services, he added.
Ilyushin emphasized that the project may give a boost to the long-desired development of small regional aviation in Russia.