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Russia's Beriyev Aviation Scientific-Technical Complex (TANTK) will start test flying
Russia's Beriyev Aviation Scientific-Technical Complex (TANTK) will start test flying a new light amphibious airplane in 2010, the TANTK general director said on Friday.

The director of the Taganrog-based company, Viktor Kobzev, said the first experimental Be-101 four-seater would be built in 2009 or 2010 and then tests would begin.

He added that tests would last for one to one and a half years, after which the plane was due to go into production.

The executive said the Be-101, with a price tag of $200,000 to $300,000, was primarily designed as a private plane.

He also said TANKT would merge with the Taganrog-based Tavia aircraft plant to build Be-200 amphibious planes, but the merger had yet to be approved by the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).

Taganrog is a town in southwest Russia.

The Be-200 is to be certified to EU standards before the end of this year, and then deliveries will start to EU countries.

The Be-200 Altair is the world's largest multipurpose amphibious aircraft designed for fire fighting, search and rescue, maritime patrol, cargo and passenger transportation. It can hold 12 tons of water, or up to 72 passengers.

UAC was formed last year from leading domestic plane producers to streamline the country's aircraft-building industry, and includes Ilyushin, Tupolev, Sukhoi, Antonov and Mikoyan, as well as companies involved in distribution.


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