The first Iranian-made passenger plane, Iran-140, successfully launched its maiden flight on Wednesday, state media reported.
The flight demonstrated some of the plane's capabilities in warmand mountainous areas, including landing in Ilam Airport, which haslimited facilities, said a report released by Iran's Defense Ministry.
The plane, which can accommodate 52 passengers, is capable of landing in any airport with limited capabilities, said the report.
Meanwhile, Colonel Hossein Alaei, managing director of the Aviation Industries Organization (AIO) affiliated to the Defense Ministry, said earlier in May that AIO is critical of the decision to purchase used passenger planes from Turkey.
Alaei said that without provisions for having repairing facilities in the country, large sums of foreign exchange has to bepaid for major repairs abroad.
In another development, the Iranian national carrier Iran Air isseeking to purchase 10 new Airbus passenger jets, worth about 500 million U.S. dollars, by 2004.
(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2002)