MIAMI – Irkout’s Aviadvigatel PD-14 engine-equipped MC21-310 carries out flight tests at Zhukovsky Airport (ZIA) located in the Moscow-Oblast region, 36km from downtown Moscow.
This is the last-known episode of a long-running story concerning the Russian aircraft, which is destined to compete with the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320 families. The type was first announced in 2009 with the aim to have the aircraft online by 2014 and an EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) certification by 2016.
In 2014, owing to delays in development and industrialization, the first flight was moved to April 2016 with an expected entry into service by 2017 and plans to build 50 aircraft by end of 2018. The first flight took finally place in May 2017 at Irkutsk (IKT) with a second prototype flight in 2018. Two other flights took place in March and December 2019.
Aviadvigatel PD-14 Engines
However, trouble started in February 2019 when US sanctions were imposed on Russia. As a result, Pratt & Whitney engines, destined to equip the MC-21, were blocked from coming into the country. Irkout decided to develop a new version of the aircraft, the MC21-310, on which Russian-made engines, United Engines Corporation’s Aviadvigatel PD-14, were installed.
The first aircraft so equipped left the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in November 2020, a year after the assembly had started. The PD-14 engine passed the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) emission test in February 2021 with a first flight expected by the end of 2020.
The first test flights took place in December 2020 and continued with the fifth prototype, flying from IKT to Ulyanovsk Vostochny Airport (ULY) on June 22. The type was painted at the Spektr-Avia facilities. The aircraft was then flown to ZIA today where the flight testing program is set to continue. Delivery of the type is expected to begin this year.
Article sourced from airinsight.com, laranews.net, Airways
Featured image: Irkut Corporation MC21-310 – Irkut Corp. Media via Facebook