Second MC-21 test aircraft takes to the air

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The second MC-21 during its maiden flight (Image: Irkut Corporation)

The second MC-21 test aircraft has made its maiden flight at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant in Russia.

The MC-21 is a family of short- and medium-haul narrow-body airliners being developed by the Irkut Corporation in Russia. The MC-21 has a flight range of 6,400km (3,977 miles) and will be able to carry 211 passengers.

The 1 hour 7 minute flight reached an altitude of 3000m and a maximum speed of 400km/h.

The flight program included testing the aircraft for stability and control for different wing configurations, the retraction and extension of the landing gear and the testing of onboard equipment.

The plane was piloted by Andrey Voropayev and Vasily Sevastyanov. Three MC-21-300 aircraft are being used in the MC-21-300 test campaign, two for flight tests and one for static tests.

Denis Manturov, acting minister of industry and trade of the Russian Federation, said, “The flight of the second aircraft is a significant event that will ensure the timely conduct of flight certification tests.”

Irkut Corporation president Yuri Slyusar said, “In recent years, the Russian aviation industry has undergone a profound modernization. The most modern scalable assembly line for the newest civil airliners was commissioned at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant.

“Within the UAC, new competencies have been developed in the field of polymer composite materials. The new production technologies will ensure the development of the MC-21 program and other prospective aviation projects.”

The test results from the first test aircraft were taken into account for the production of a new aircraft, said Irkut. The first MC-21 test aircraft made its maiden flight during May last year.

The first MC-21 test aircraft is undergoing flight tests at the Flight Research Institute near Moscow for stability and control, its take-off and landing characteristics, and testing of the engines during maneuvers.

A large number of ground tests are also being conducted as part of the test campaign, including structural tests. For example, composite wing box tests for the MC-21 were completed at the end of 2017 to confirm that it has sufficient strength for flight operations at the limit modes.

May 15, 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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