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.
Manufacturer Irkut confirmed details of the May 27 first flight, saying the aircraft was flown for 30min at an altitude of 1,000m and speed of 300km/h (162kt).
In a statement Irkit said the mission included checking of in-flight stability and controllability, as well as monitoring the performance of the Pratt & Whitney PW1400G engines.
“During the flight, a simulated landing approach was performed, followed by a flight over the runway, climbing and turning,” said Irkut. “This technique is typical for the maiden flight of new types of aircraft.”
Test pilot Oleg Kononenko commanded the flight, while Roman Taskayev served as co-pilot.
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.