Russia’s newest commercial passenger aircraft, the MC-21 has made its first flight.
It is the first Russian-made narrowbody commercial passenger aircraft designed in the post-Soviet era. The maiden flight of MC-21-300 commercial aircraft took place at the airfield of Irkutsk Aviation Plant, the affiliate of Irkut Corporation (a UAC member).
The duration of the flight was 30 minutes at the altitude of 1000 meters, at the speed of 300 km/hour.
The flight plan included checking of in-flight stability and controllability, and also the controllability of the power plant. According to the program, during the flight a simulated landing approach was performed, followed by a flight over the runway, climbing and turning. This technique is typical for the maiden flight of new types of aircraft.
The aircraft was piloted by the crew commander Oleg Kononenko, test pilot, the Hero of Russia, and the copilot Roman Taskayev, test-pilot, The Hero of Russia.
Oleg Kononenko reported, “flight mission is accomplished. The flight went in the normal mode. There are no obstacles revealed preventing the tests continuation”.
Roman Taskayev noted, that in our aircraft, to provide enhanced comfort for passengers and attractive economic chara ”characteristics and operational modes of the power plant are confirmed, all aircraft systems operated without glitches.”
Oleg Demchenko, the President of Irkut Corporation, stated, ”today is the historic day for our personnel and the whole big team, which works on creation of MC-21 aircraft. We put the most advanced technical solutions in our aircraft, to provide enhanced comfort for passengers and attractive economic characteristics for air carriers. I am happy to declare the maiden flight of the MC-21 aircraft has been successfully accomplished. I congratulate all project participants on our common holiday!”
Yury Slyusar, the President of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), stressed, ”MC-21 is created in a wide cooperation, where together with Irkut, other enterprises of the United Aircraft Corporation are actively participating, namely Aerocomposite company, Ulyanovsk and Voronezh aircraft plants, UAC Integration Center in Moscow. This is an important stage in the formation of the new UAC industrial model. According to our estimates, the global demand in the MC-21 segment will be about 15,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years. I’m sure the airlines will appreciate our new aircraft”.
The programme was launched in 2007, The MC-21-300 prototype was rolled out almost a year ago, in early June 2016. The MC-21-300 variant has maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 79,250 kg (174,713 lb.) and can carry up to 211 passengers for a distance of up to 6,000 km (3,240 nm).
MC-21 certification in Russia is now planned for 2018 with the European Aviation Safety Agency approval expected to be obtained a year later. The MC-21 backlog stands at 175 firm orders, mostly from government-owned Russian leasing companies, and more than 100 commitments. Aeroflot, Russia’s largest carrier, is expected to become the launch operator with first airframes to be delivered in 2019.