First MC-21 Painted in Rossiya Colors Surfaces
Airlines Manufacturers

First MC-21 Painted in Rossiya Colors Surfaces

DALLAS — Photos have emerged of the first MC-21 painted in Rossiya Airlines’ (FV) colors.

The type, registered as 73054, was the third prototype built by Russian aircraft manufacturer Irkut to perform the corresponding certification test flights for the Russian Civil Aviation Administration (RFCAA).

The aircraft was painted in Ulyanovsk. SDM stated, “The choice of the livery of Rossiya is a significant event. The airline has unique and valuable experience in the successful introduction and operation of Russian aircraft into the fleet. Rossiya occupies a leading position in the air transportation market on the regional Superjet 100.”

In a press release published by SDM, the Russian carrier declared that, at the moment, the MC-21 is undergoing an import substitution program and cannot yet be included in the commercial operator’s certificate.

This prototype of the MC-21 will be operated not by Rossiya but by the Irkut Corporation and will be used for training FV pilot instructors and the rest of the Aeroflot (SU) Group.

This video shows the painting process of the MC-21 at Ulyanovsk, Russia. Video: Obyedinyonnaya Aviastroitelnaya Korporatsiya (United Aircraft Corporation)

Another Russian Project Paralyzed by the War

The MC-21 program, launched by the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) in 2006, was designed and produced by Irkut and Yakovlev and performed its first flight on May 28, 2017. It is a medium-range aircraft designed to compete with aircraft from western manufacturers such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families.

In terms of technology, it is one of the most advanced aircraft ever made by Russia, with great complexity regarding its fuselage design made up of composite materials and carbon fiber. Actually. It is also powered by Pratt & Whitney, with two PW1000G engines, and is used in aircraft such as the Airbus A320neo and the Embraer E-2.

This new aircraft was expected to enter service early in 2022, with more than 170 orders by airlines of the likes of SU, Azerbaijan Airlines (J2), or FV, but its certification process needed to be interrupted due to the development of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

Today, the production of new MC-21 airplanes is paralyzed because of the break in relations between P&W and the UAC. The Russian manufacturer is stuck without an engine producer and needs to find new national alternatives to power this brand-new aircraft.

Aviadvigatel is thought to be the next engine supplier for the project with their new PD-14 turbofans, which may in the near future resume the certification and commercial operation of the MC-21.

Featured image: Rossiya Russian Airlines

Commercial aviation enthusiast from Madrid, Spain. Studying for a degree in Air Traffic Management and Operations at the Technical University of Madrid. Aviation photographer since 2018.

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