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The maiden flight of Russian new jet liner MC-21 is now scheduled for April, the RIA Novosti news agency reports with the reference to deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin. In December last year, he announced the first test aircraft would get airborne in spring.
“The government is briefed daily on the results of addition static tests going on in Zhukovsky and at the flight testing rig in Irkutsk. So far, the program remains on track,” – deputy prime minister points out.
МС-21 (which stands for the Russian “long-haul aircraft of the 21st century”) is designed by Russian plane-maker Irkut, a member of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). The new aircraft is expected to substitute narrow-body Tu-154s and Tu-204s on the Russian market. The first MC-21 prototype was rolled-out in summer 2016.
The MC-21 family includes two versions: МС-21-200 with 132-165 seat capacities and stretched-body МС-21-300 (in 163 to 211 seat configurations). In dual-class cabin layout, the aircraft will have the maximum range of 6,000-6,400 km.
Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX will obviously be the Russian aircraft’s main rivals on the market. Apart from them, MC-21 will compete with Chinese COMAC C919, which is also on course for a first flight in 2017.
The original timeline of MC-21 first-flight test program has already been amended. Initially, the aircraft was expected to perform its maiden flight in February-March this year.