MIAMI — Russia’s Irkut Corporation unveiled today the first MC-21 medium-haul passenger jetliner, as Moscow is posed to revive its beleaguered civil aviation industry, joining rivals from Canada, Brazil and China to challenge giants Airbus and Boeing.
The official ceremony was attended by Mr Dmitry Medvedev, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, representatives of federal and regional authorities, heads of cooperating enterprises, delegations of current and prospective MC-21 customers.
“Today we’ve seen the MC-21, a super-modern passenger aircraft of the 21st century, for the first time. We are proud that it was created in our country. This plane is a major achievement by Irkut Corporation scientists, designers, engineers and workers. You are creating – with government support, of course – a modern aircraft manufacturing industry, which is moving our country and its economy forward.” Medvedev said in a statement.
Firm orders for the MC-21 have totaled 175 aircraft, of which 50 have been ordered by the Aviacapital-Service leasing company, a subsidiary of Rostec, for Russian flag carrier Aeroflot. The order book is modest when compared to current unfilled orders for the Airbus A320 (5,535) and Boeing 737 (4,363) family aircraft.
“We managed to get together the team of like-minded colleagues. All program members are the leaders of domestic and world aviation industries. We work together and we believe in MC-21 aircraft being the best in its class.” said Oleg Demchenko, President of Irkut Corporation.
The MC-21 is a twin-engine short-to-mid range family aircraft, and it is the latest addition to competing new narrow-body aircraft: the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX, Bombardier CSeries, Mitsubishi MRJ90, Embraer E2 and COMAC C919, which have all been newsworthy over the last 12 months.
The first MC-21 is set to takeoff this year, while the serial production of aircraft is set to start after 2020.