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Allowing connectivity on airliners can satsify passenger and crew needs for robust communications while opening new revenue streams for airlines.
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Antonov is to fly its 99-seat An-158 in January, according to a press report. The aircraft is a stretched version of the 85-seat An-148 regional jet, which entered service with Ukraine's Aerosvit Airlines in June, at which time Antonov claimed a backlog of 50 firm orders and 80 options. The An-158 is a rival to Sukhoi's Superjet 100, first deliveries of which have been delayed.An-148 (Photo: Antonov)The high-wing An-148 is powered by a pair of Progress D-436 turbofans, The An-158 has two fuselage plugs and increased use of composites. Antonov forecasts demand by 2015 for up to 200 aircraft, including planned cargo versions. The company also sees a market by 2015 for about 60 business-jet versions, the An-168, seating between eight and 40 passengers.
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