Iranian aircraft Simorgh performs maiden flight

Turboprop is a version of the Antonov An-140 modified by the Iranian state-owned manufacturer HESA

Aircraft named after the legendary bird in Persian mythology, the twin-engine turboprop “Simorgh”, developed by the Iranian state-owned HESA, made its maiden flight on May 30. The aircraft took off from Shahin-Shahr Airport, in the central-west region of Iran.

In development for about six years, the Simorgh is an adaptation of the An-140, a passenger turboprop designed by the Ukrainian Antonov at the end of the 1990s.

HESA already had the manufacturing license for the turboprop, when it assembled it with IrAn-140. The Simorgh, however, was modified so that the plane gained features for military use, such as the rear cargo door with a ramp – a component that required a major modification to the empennage, which had to be raised.

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The aircraft redesigned in Iran is powered by Klimov TV3-117 turboprops imported from Russia. According to HESA, the Simorgh has a payload capacity of six tons and a flight range of around 900 km (with full load).

According to Brigadier General Mohammadreza Ashtiani for the Iranian news agency Meher, the Simorgh features “its lightness, high carriage capacity, proper radius of flight operations, compatibility with the climatic conditions of the country, ability to land and take off in short runways, as well as agility and speed in providing emergency services, including as air ambulance.”

HESA did not detail a production estimate for the aircraft or possible orders from Iran’s military.