On 28 May, 2017, the maiden flight of MC-21-300 commercial aircraft took place at the airfield of Irkutsk Aviation Plant, the affiliate of Irkut Corporation. It is notable that MC-21 is the first large Russian airliner designed after the Soviet Union disintegrated.
The flight plan included checking of in-flight stability and controllability, and also the controllability of the power plant. According to the program, during the flight a sim, lated landing approach was performed, followed by a flight over the runway, climbing and turning. This technique is typical for the maiden flight of new types of aircraft.
The duration of the flight was 30 minutes at the altitude of 1000 meters, at the speed of 300 km/hour. It is also worth mentioning that the duration of the flight was shorter than is usually expected from first flights of such aircraft. For example, the Chinese COMAC C919, which had its maiden flight earlier in May, flew for 80 minutes.
“The flight went in the normal mode,” Oleg Kononenko, one of the test pilots, debriefed. “There are no obstacles revealed preventing the tests continuation”.
Second test pilot Roman Taskayev noted that “characteristics and operational modes of the power plant are confirmed, all aircraft systems operated without glitches.”
“Today is a historic day for our personnel and the whole big team, which works on creation of MC-21 aircraft,” Oleg Demchenko, the President of Irkut Corporation, stated. “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.”
“According to our estimates, the global demand in the MC-21 segment will be about 15,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years,” Yury Slyusar, the President of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), stressed. “I’m sure the airlines will appreciate our new aircraft”.
The MC-21 is a narrow-body airliner produced by Irkut. The plane will come in two variants, the shortened MC-21-200 seating 132-165 passengers, and the standard MC-21-300 seating 163-211 passengers. The aircraft can be equipped with either indigenous in-development PD-14 or Canadian P&W PW1400G turbofan engines. The MC-21 aircraft are valued at $80 million at list prices.
It was initially scheduled for introduction in 2012, which was later postponed to 2018. The aircraft had its roll-out ceremony in June 2016. According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, as of May 2017 the aircraft has amassed a total of 185 firm orders.