• Chidozie Uzoezie

Russia's New Narrow-body Aircraft Makes First Flight

Russia’s all-new narrow-body aircraft, the MC-21 has successfully made its first ever flight kicking off a series of flight tests that will lead up to certification of the aircraft.

The maiden flight of the MC-21-300 which lasted for 30 minutes at the altitude of 1000 meters and at the speed of 300 km/hour, took place yesterday at the airfield of Irkutsk Aviation Plant, Oblast, Russia.

The aircraft was piloted by the crew commander Oleg Kononenko, test pilot, the Hero of Russia, and the copilot Roman Taskayev, test-pilot, The Hero of Russia.

The crew checked for in-flight stability and controllability, and also the controllability of the power plant. According to the program, during the flight, a simulated landing approach was performed, followed by a flight over the runway, climbing and turning.

With a capacity of 163 to 211 passengers, MC-21-300 new generation aircraft targets the most massive segment of aviation market, a market segment currently dominated by Boeing's 737 family and Airbus's A320 family.

For the first time in the history of Russian aircraft manufacturing, the airliner is offered to customers with two options of power plant - PW1400G of Pratt & Whitney Company (USA) or PD-14 of United Engine Corporation (Russia).

The MC-21-300 was developed by the Yakovlev Design Bureau and produced by Irkut, both within United Aircraft Corporation. So far, it has gathered 175 firm orders from 10 airlines.

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