Russian plane maker to develop new pilot trainer

Moscow, April 25 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s Sokol aircraft manufacturer has said it will develop a light aircraft for training air force pilots.

The order for the development of a new training aircraft came from Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev earlier this year.

The new aircraft will be a modernised two-seat version of the M-101T Gzhel utility turboprop aircraft, the company said.

The M-101T Gzhel was Russia’s first high-speed multirole turboprop able to use unpaved airfields.

The original Gzhel has a seating capacity of six and a maximum speed of 430 km per hour.

Sokol manufactured Gzhel planes from 2003-2009, but halted production due to a lack of commercial demand. Just 15 of the planes were built.

The aircraft manufacturer, based in Nizhny Novgorod city, previously said the modernised Gzhel will have twin engines, a longer range and higher altitude.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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