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MC-21-300 Completes First Test Flight

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MC-21-300 Completes First Test Flight

MC-21-300 Completes First Test Flight
May 29
09:28 2017

MIAMI – The new Russia’s MC-21-300 narrowbody completed its maiden flight at Irkutsk Aviation Plant airfield in Siberia, about 2,600 miles east of Moscow, on Sunday morning, May 28, 2017.

This is the first member of a new domestically produced Russian narrowbody commercial aircraft family.

The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and Irkut Corporation – the aircraft designer, reported the first flight took 30 minutes at an altitude of 1,000 meters at the speed of 300 km/h. The flight plan included the aircraft in-flight stability, controllability checks, powerplant operation, approaches, climbs, turns and landing. By western standards, this was a very short, low altitude first test flight – even compared to Chinese competitor Comac C919’s inaugural sortie earlier in the month.

“The program incorporates the best technologies, industrial practices and design solutions to date,” said Denis Manturov, Minister of Trade and Industry, referring to the aircraft’s “unique” wings that are manufactured from composite materials. “We will continue to support the MC-21 project, helping to establish effective mechanisms to promote our new aircraft – both in the domestic and foreign markets.”

The aircraft is the first Russian-made narrowbody commercial passenger aircraft designed in the post-Soviet era. The program was launched in 2007 and is headed by Irkut – subsidiary of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation. The flight prototype was rolled out in June 2016.

MC-21-300 is a baseline variant that has a maximum take-off weight of 79,250 kg and can carry up to 211 passengers for a distance of up to 6,000 km. The shorter, 72,560 kg MTOW, variant, MC-21-200, with 165 passenger capacity, is at a design stage. Also, the aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1400G engines – Irkut has already started the process of seeking European Aviation Safety Agency certification.

The alternative Russian powerplant, Aviadvigatel PD-14, is to be certified in 2018. Oleg Kononenko, the narrowbody aircraft crew commander, reported that the flight went in the normal mode, “there are no obstacles revealed preventing the tests continuation”.

Copilot Roman Taskayev confirmed that the characteristics and operational modes of the power plant were confirmed and all aircraft systems operated without any glitches.

The MC-21 is intended to replace Tupolev Tu-134 and Tu-154 planes and also compete with Western rivals, Airbus and Boeing. UAC says the MC-21 has 175 firm orders, mostly from Eastern bloc carriers. Aeroflot, the expected launch operator, is among the customers with 50 orders to be delivered in 2019.

“We believe the reliability, increased comfort of the aircraft, and its other features will be appreciated by airlines,” says UAC CEO, Yuri Slyusar.

MC-21 certification in Russia is now planned for 2018 with the EASA certificate to be obtained a year later.

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Alvaro Sanchez

Alvaro Sanchez

Online Executive Editor. Journalist and Certified Radio Host. Studying for a Specialization in Public Opinion and Political Communications. Even though I love politics I've found myself fascinated by the Aviation World. I'm also passionate by economy, strategic communications, my family, my country, and dogs. mc@airwaysmag.com

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