A senior Iranian aviation official says the country will finish development of a new generation of a small indigenous passenger plane as well as two helicopters by the end of the next Iranian calendar year (finishes March 19, 2016).
Manouchehr Manteqi, the managing director of the Iranian Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO), said on Monday that Iran has designed an eight-seat and a 14-seat helicopter whose research tests will start in the current Iranian calendar year, and their development will wrap up next year.
He further noted that a new generation of Iran-141 commercial airliner, which is reportedly capable of doing short-haul domestic flights, will be ready in the next Iranian calendar year.
Manteqi stated that Iran is currently developing an indigenous twin-engine turbojet aircraft, which can seat 150 passengers. He said the development of the plane would take five years, of which three years would be spent on its design and the rest on technical tests.
There are reports that researchers from Iran Aviation Industries Organization of the Armed Forces, Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries Company (HESA), Sharif University of Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran University of Science and Technology, and Isfahan University of Technology are working on the project.
Iran has several private and public airline companies in operation. The oldest is the state-run Iran Air.
The expansion of Iran’s civil aircraft fleet comes despite the US-engineered sanctions against the country’s civil aviation industry.
Iran is currently cooperating with Ukraine and Russia in the production and operation of the Antonov An-140 airliner, which can carry 52 passengers.
After purchasing the production license for the An-140 from Ukraine in 2000, Iran built its first Iran-140 passenger plane in 2003.