Russian passenger programme takes-off

Russian passenger programme takes-off

The Russian built Irkut MC-21-300 completed its first test flight on Sunday (May 28th). The single aisle twin engined passenger aircraft flew for 30 minutes reaching a height of 1,000m.

The aircraft is intended to be a competitor to the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. The maiden flight took place at the airfield of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant.

The new jet can seat between 163-211 passengers depending on the cabin layout.

For the first time in the history of Russian aircraft manufacturing, the airliner is offered to the customers with two engine options: the PW1400G made by Pratt & Whitney or the PD-14 produced by the Russian United Engine Corporation. The new engines will provide reduced fuel consumption, low noise and fewer hazardous emissions.

The aircraft includes many new carbon fibre components, including wings made of polymer composite materials.

The Hexcel Corporation has supplied many carbon fibre technologies for the aircraft programme including its HexPly carbon fiber/epoxy prepreg that Hexcel supplies for composite primary structures including the empennage.

Hexcel says it has worked in partnership with Irkut for more than a decade to support the technology developments initiated for the MC-21 program.

Thierry Merlot, Hexcel president – Aerospace, Europe/Middle East/Asia said: “Hexcel is very proud to be associated with this new adventure and landmark within the Russian Aviation History, and we congratulate our customer Irkut and the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) on their achievement. The MC-21 aircraft employs the latest advanced composites processes and material solutions and Hexcel has made a significant contribution to the development of these technologies.”

Oleg Demchenko, president of the Irkut Corporation, commented: ”Today is the historic day for our personnel and the whole team, which works on creation of MC-21 aircraft. We put the most advanced technical solutions in our aircraft, to provide enhanced comfort for passengers and attractive economic characteristics for air carriers. I am happy to declare the maiden flight of the MC-21 aircraft has been successfully accomplished.”


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