The Antonov An-140 is a twin-engine turboprop regional airliner seating around 50 passengers and aimed to replace the An-24. However, only a small number has been built so far.
Antonov started the development of the aircraft in 1993. The first prototype made its maiden flight from Kiev on 17 September 1997 and the initial production aircraft first flew on 11 October 1999. On 25 April 2000, Antonov received the Ukrainian and Russian certificates of airworthiness. The first An-140 operators were Odessa Airlines, Aeromost, Motor-Sich and Illich Avia. The intention was that the Russian Air Force would buy hundreds of the type, but because of their worsening relationship with Ukraine, the Russians prefer to build their own Ilyushin Il-112.
The An-140 is of conventional design. It has a high wing, but not a T-tail. The aircraft is powered by two Motor-Sich AI-30s which are licence built Klimov TV3-117VMA-SBM1s. They are mounted under the wing. An auxiliary power unit is installed to make the An-140 less dependent of airport facilities. The landing gear enables the aircraft to operate from unpaved and ice- and snow-covered airstrips.
Passengers are seated four-abreast (2+2). Luggage and cargo holds with a total volume of 9.1 m3 are under the passenger compartmentís floor and in the rear of the fuselage. Antonov claims that the An-140 has a higher cargo volume than other airplanes in the same class to make it suitable for mixed cargo/passenger operations. Palletised cargo can be accommodated in the front section of the cabin where the seat rows are removable. There is a large cargo door at the starboard side of the fuselage ahead of the wing. The rear passenger door has an integral stairs.
The basic aircraft is designated 'An-140'. It was replaced in 2003 by the An-140-100 which has a 1.00 m (3 ft 3 in) increased wingspan, a higher maximum takeoff weight and extra range. Antonov intended to develop several versions, including the An-140A with Pratt & Whitney PW127As turboprops, the An-140T freighter with a freight door at the rear port side of the fuselage, the An-140TK convertible, the An-140VIP executive version and the An-142 with a rear loading freight ramp. Military versions were also planned.
Series production takes place at the Kharkov State Aircraft Production Plant in Ukraine and at the Aviacor Aviation Plant in Samara, Russia. HESA in Esfahan, Iran, produced the An-140 under licence as 'IrAn-140 Faraz' (see photo). Production in Iran started in 1998 and the first IrAn-140 made its maiden flight in February 2001. However, the Iranian aircraft suffered safety problems, lack of spare parts, lack of customers and poor performance. Twelve aircraft were completed in Iran, but after several accidents the Iranian aviation authorities grounded the remaining IrAn-140s in August 2014.
In spite of the existence of three final assembly lines, only a few dozen of An-140s have been built and less than a handful is in operational service.