The flight prototype of Russia’s new MC-21 medium-haul passenger jet will climb to an altitude of 11 kilometers for the first time in September this year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told TASS on Thursday.
“The plane will start flying again soon, already in August. September is an extremely busy month. The plane should take to the skies more than 20 times in September, including its climb to an altitude of no less than 11,000 meters,” Rogozin said.
“This is necessary for the plane to fly over to Zhukovsky in October this year where all of us will meet it,” the vice-premier said.
The deputy prime minister visited the production site in East Siberia earlier where work is under way to make the first four MC-21 planes.
As Rogozin said, the first flight prototype that had performed its debut flight is currently in the enterprise’s workshop.
“It is covered all over with sensors to make readings of the work of all the plane’s assemblies in the conditions of overloads under the designated test program,” Rogozin said, noting that the number of sensors exceeded 750.
From October this year, all the plane’s flight tests will be held in the town of Zhukovsky outside Moscow, the deputy prime minister said.
“If this happens, if it [the plane’] is in Zhukovsky in October, then all of our other plans can also be implemented,” Rogozin said.
The date of the MC-21’s first public flight will be known in October, the vice-premier said.
“It [the date of the public flight] will be known in October, this is for sure and I hope that this is how it will be,” he said. “The date will be determined by testers in a working procedure,” Rogozin said.
When the talk is about trials, anything may happen, including some critical remarks that may emerge and must be rectified, Rogozin said.
The new Russian short-and medium-haul narrow-body passenger plane MC-21 (Mainline Aircraft of the 21st Century) performed its debut flight on May 28, 2017 over the aerodrome of the Irkutsk Aviation Enterprise. The flight lasted half an hour at an altitude of 1,000 meters and at a speed of 300 km/hr.
Russia plans to produce two versions of the aircraft: the MC-21-200 and the MC-21-300. The plane’s versions differ only by their capacity: the MC-21-300 can seat from 163 to 211 passengers while the MC-21-200 can carry from 132 to 165.
The order book for the MC-21 airliner comprises 285 planes, 175 of which have been contracted on prepayment. Preliminary understandings have been reached and framework agreements have been signed on the other 110 airliners.
Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot has become the first and the largest client: it intends to buy 50 MC-21 planes. There is also a firm contract with Indonesia’s Crecom Burj Berthad for the delivery of 25 airliners and an option for 25 more planes, as well as a letter of intent signed with Egypt’s Cairo Aviation on the delivery of six passenger planes and an option for four other airliners. Tanzania’s national airline Air Tanzania, as well as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia have displayed interest in the plane.
According to Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, Russia may supply up to 1,000 newest MC-21 planes through 2037.