Honeywell is “in discussions with a Russian firm regarding the potential use of our TPE331-12U engine” in Antonov An-2 aircraft, the U.S. manufacturer tells AviationWeek.
Honeywell would not provide more details, but the Siberian Aeronautical Research Institute in a press release earlier this year said it tested the biplane with the Honeywell turboprop engine and a Hartzell HC-B5MP five-bladed propeller. Hartzell is based in Piqua, Ohio.
“The first test flights showed that application of this combination of engine TPE331-12 and [ propeller ] HC-B5MP has even more improved both runway and flight characteristics,” the institute says. The test pilot describes the aircraft as “steadier and more controllable.”
A six-minute YouTube video apparently posted by the institute in December 2011 shows the test aircraft taking off, flying and landing. And a 19-second YouTube video posted in March shows the same aircraft (registration number 17754) but only on takeoff, noting a takeoff weight of 4,100 kg and a run off of 30 meters.
The text says the institute wants to modernize the aircraft to make it more fuel efficient—using kerosene-type jet fuel instead of the gasoline-powered ASz-62IR engines currently on the aircraft—and lower its maintenance costs.
Russia’s civil aviation industry currently includes about 1,400 of the An-2 aircraft, which were initially designed in the 1940s. There are an additional 600 to 800 registered with the state.