Plane Maker Sokol Plans Gzhel Relaunch

The Nizhny Novgorod-based Sokol aircraft manufacturer is considering resuming production of a modernized version of the M-101T Gzhel utility turboprop aircraft, the plant’s director Alexander Karezin said on Thursday.

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 kilometers per hour.

Sokol manufactured Gzhel planes in 2003-09, but halted production due to a lack of commercial demand. Just fifteen of the planes were built.

The modernized Gzhel will be twin engined, and feature greater seating capacity, longer range, higher altitude, Karezin said.

“If that happens we will be ready to consider a proposal for relaunching these airplanes,” he said.


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