Modest turboprop-powered aircraft still have a place in the regional passenger hauler and cargo transport markets of the world. As such, Antonov of Ukraine has developed its An-140 for such roles. The type is marketed as an airliner and sports a high-wing design giving it naturally strong lift properties and good short-field / rough-field operating capabilities. A first-flight, by way of prototype, was had on September 17th, 1997 and service introduction followed in 2002. Only about twenty aircraft are in active service (January 2017) with nearly that amount on order. Operators reside in Ukraine, Russia and Iran while production has been ongoing since 1997.
The An-140 competes with such types as the French ATR42, Canadian Bombardier "Dash 8" series, the German Dornier 328, and the Russian Ilyushin Il-114.
As designed, the An-140 features a crew of two and seating for up to fifty-two. The aircraft sports an overall length of 74.1 feet, a wingspan of 80.4 feet and a height of 27 feet. Empty weight is 28,240lb against an MTOW of 47,350lb. Power is from 2 x Klimov TV3-117VMA-SBM1 turboprop engines developing 2,466 horsepower each though an alternative fit is offered, one that is designed to make the An-140 a "friendlier" international player, by way of 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127A series turboprops of 2,500 horsepower (each).
Stated performance includes a maximum speed of 357 miles per hour, a cruise speed of 290 mph, a range out to 1,505 miles (ferry range of 2,300 miles) and a service ceiling of 25,000 feet. Rate-of-climb is listed at 1,345 feet-per-minute.
Notable variants of the line are the An-140T tactical airlifter (designed for the rigors of military service), the An-140TK (a convertible passenger-or-cargo form), the An-140VIP (30 passengers), the An-140-100 (increased wingspan, multirole use), and the HESA IrAn-140. The latter is a local, license-built Iranian variant manufactured from prepared Antonov kits. The aircraft are intended for maritime patrol and general freighter duties.
The An-140 product has seen its fair-share of disasters with crashes registered in December 2002, August 2005, December 2005, February 2009, and August 2014 under various operators. One locally-built Iranian An-140 crashed during a training flight (killing five) resulting in the fleet being grounded.
The future of An-140 aircraft in Russian service are in doubt since the Russian take-over of Ukranian Crimea in 2014. A local solution will most likely replace this fleet. Serial production of Russian aircraft is/was handled through AVIACOR in Samara, Russia.