MC-21 airliner makes first test flight

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The Russian-built MC-21 short- and medium-haul passenger aircraft made its first flight in Irkutsk, Russia, on May 28.

The MC-21 is a family of short-and medium-haul narrow-body airliners, which is intended to replace the Tupolev Tu-134 and Tu-154 planes and also to serve as competition to Boeing and Airbus single-aisle aircraft.

The Irkut Corporation has not yet released its own recordings of the event but several amateur videos have been posted to YouTube showing this first flight.

The MC-21 has a flight range of 6,400km (3,977 miles), while the Sukhoi Superjet 100 can fly 4,578km (2,845 miles). The regional Sukhoi Superjet 100 has, to date, been the only aircraft manufactured from scratch; it performed its first flight in 2008 and was made operational in 2011.

The MC-21 will be able to carry 211 passengers, while the Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliner’s seating capacity is 108.

The MC-21 airliner’s first flight was scheduled for December 2016 and its initial assembly planned to begin in 2017. Later, the first flight was postponed to April 2017 and then to late May. The current MC-21 orderbook is 285 aircraft and its first recipient is Aeroflot, with plans for a fleet of 50.

The regional Sukhoi Superjet 100 has, to date, been the only aircraft manufactured from scratch. The plane performed its first flight in 2008 and was made operational in 2011.

May 30, 2017

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