Second MC-21 ready to start flight tests

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The second MC-21-300 aircraft, Russia’s answer to the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737, has been assembled at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant in Russia and is to begin flight testing in May.

The aircraft was transferred from the final assembly shop to the flight test department on March 25. In total, four MC-21-300 aircraft will be involved in the flight test campaign.

The Irkut MC-21 is a single-aisle twinjet airliner with a carbon-fiber reinforced polymer wing. The aircraft features the widest fuselage of any narrowbody airliner currently on the market.

The MC-21 development project started in 2006 and the aircraft is planned to enter service by 2020 with launch customer Aeroflot. The MC-21’s maiden flight took place in May 2017.

Denis Manturov, the Russian minister of industry and trade, said, “The completion of the second aircraft assembly is an important stage in the implementation of the MC-21 program. Entering of new machines this year to flight testing will solve the key tasks of the project – to complete the certification of MC-21 in a timely manner, to launch mass production and to put the first airliners to the customer.”

The fuselage of the third MC-21-300 aircraft is currently assembled at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant, and the components and units of the fourth aircraft are being assembled. The manufacture of aircraft parts and components intended for endurance test aircraft is underway.

The first MC-21-300 aircraft will undergo flight tests at the Russian Gromov Flight Research Institute, in the, approximately 40km south east of Moscow.

MC-21 profile

Capacity: 163 passengers

Range: 6,000–6,400km (3,200–3,500 nautical miles)

Top Speed: 870km/h (540mph)

Engines: Pratt & Whitney PW1000G or Aviadvigatel PD-14

Thrust: 30,000 lb-ft or 35,000 lb-ft

March 27, 2018

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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