On December 25th 2019, the Russian airframer Irkut conducted the maiden flight of its fourth MC-21-300 test aircraft.
The aircraft, with test registration 73056, departed from the airfield of Irkutsk Aviation Plant, located in the city of Irkutsk in Siberia, Russia.
According to a press release from the manufacturer, the flight had a duration of 1 hour 40 minutes at an altitude of 3000 meters (9,800ft) and a speed of up to 500 km/h (270kt).
“Results from the first three MC-21-300 [test aircraft] were taken into account during production of this new aircraft”says Irkut
The plane was piloted by the Heroes of Russia test pilots, Roman Taskaev and Oleg Mutovin. According to the crew report, the task was performed completely and the flight was in normal mode.
The three other MC-21-300s are already carrying out certification test flights at a facility in Moscow. This type of aircraft will be certificated not only under Russian standards, but those of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
MC-21 Aircraft Details
This aircraft is full of the latest technology, including wings made with a carbon fiber-reinforced polymer and a mostly lightweight aluminium-lithium alloy fuselage.
The MC-21 can be powered by two types of engines; Pratt & Whitney PW1400G – that are also used in Airbus A220 and Embraer E2 jets- and the Aviadvigatel PD-14, a domestically-built powerplant.
The MC-21-300 can accommodate between 132–163 passengers in a two-class configuration, or 165–211 in a single class; it can also offer a range of up to 6,000–6,400km (3,200–3,500nmi).
The MC-21 was announced as the Russian rival for the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 MAX. It is the biggest hope of the Russian commercial aviation industry, so it is expected to be sold especially to Russian airlines or former Soviet Union countries.
During MAKS 2019, the United Aircraft Corporation revealed that they now have 174 orders from 14 airlines for the MC-21-300. The launch customer will be the Russian national flag carrier Aeroflot.