Russian airliner testbed MC-21-300 makes 4,500km flight

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The first test Irkut MC-21-300 aircraft flew from Irkutsk Aviation Plant’s airfield to Rostec Corporation’s Zhukovsky Airport, in Russia, on October 17, 2017, as part of an ongoing flight test program. During the non-stop six-hour flight the aircraft covered 4,500km at an altitude of 10,000m. 

The МС-21-300 is a new generation passenger aircraft that features systems manufactured and installed by the Rostec Corporation, a Russian state corporation. The aircraft, which is intended for the air passenger market, boasts a carrying capacity of between 163 and 211 passengers depending on seating arrangements.

The flight, achieved with all systems operating smoothly, was made by pilot Oleg Kononenko. Once completed, Anatoly Serdyukov, industrial director – Aviation Cluster, Rostec Corporation, said, ”In terms of its flying and technical characteristics, as well as efficiency, the MC-21 aircraft is superior to all its analogs.

“The aircraft’s wing is made of specially developed polymer composite materials, which is the first solution of such kind used for narrow-body aircraft with a passenger capacity of over 130 people. The share of composites in the aircraft’s design is over 30%, which is unique for this class of airliners.”

In addition, the operating costs of the MC-21 are expected to be 12-15% less than other aircraft of its type. The airliner is offered to customers with two types of engines: the PW1400G, made by US company Pratt & Whitney; and the PD-14 made by the United Engine Corporation (UEC), part of the Rostec State Corporation.

The new generation engines use less fuel, have lower noise levels and produce less emissions, so meeting advanced environmental protection requirements. The main systems of MC-21 aircraft were manufactured and installed by Russian companies.

As part of the implementation of the MC-21 program, think-tanks were created in Russia aimed at developing and making products from composite materials. To introduce new technologies, a wide-ranging upgrade of the production facilities of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant was carried out.

After the successful test flight, Yuri Slyusar, president of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and Irkut Corporation, said, “Today we open the new milestone of MC-21 program. Ahead, there is a continuation of flight and ground tests, introduction of new aircraft samples into test program, [and]certification and initiation of serial production.

“Together with Irkut Corporation, a number of UAC enterprises, our partners from Rostec Corporation, and leading foreign companies participate in the MC-21 program. This program moves our enterprises to the new technological level and ensures the professional growth of our specialists.”

October 19, 2017

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With over 20 years experience in editorial management and content creation for multiple, market-leading titles at UKi Media & Events (publisher of Aerospace Testing International), one of the UK's fastest growing publishing companies, Anthony has written articles and news covering everything from aircraft, airports and cars, to cruise ships, trains, trucks and even tires!

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