Irkut MS-21 makes maiden flight

Irkut MS-21-300 at its first flight

The Irkut MS-21 after the take off for its first flight. (Photo: Irkut/UAC)

The new Russian airliner Irkut MS-21-300 (‘MC-21-300’ in Russian) has performed its first flight on 28 May 2017 from the airfield of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant.

The flight lasted only 30 minutes, at an altitude of 1000 meters. The aircraft didn’t fly faster than 300 km/h. The flight plan included checking of in-flight stability and controllability, and also the controllability of the power plant. During the flight a simulated landing approach was performed, followed by a flight over the runway, climbing and turning. This maneuver is typical for the maiden flight of new aircraft types.

The aircraft was piloted by two test pilots: crew commander Oleg Kononenko and copilot Roman Taskayev. Kononenko reported that no obstacles showed up that could prevent the continuation of flight testing. According to Taskayev all aircraft systems operated without glitches.

With a capacity of 163 to 211 passengers, the MC-21-300 is in the same class as the Boeing 737, Airbus A320 Family and the Chinese COMAC C919, which flew for the first time only a few weeks ago.

The MS-21 has the biggest fuselage diameter in its category of narrow-body airliners in order to offer more comfort to passengers. The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW1400G turbofans or Russian-built United Engine Corporation PD-14s. The aircraft uses many systems from Western manufacturers. The wing of the aircraft is made of polymer composite materials. The airframe consists of 30 percent composites.

Irkut claims that it has an initial portfolio of 175 firm orders for the MS-21, all prepaid.

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