Russian civil aerospace executives might remember last week’s Moscow Air Show (MAKS ’13) at Zhukovsky Air Field outside the Russian capital as the start of their industry’s ascent toward global relevance.
Russian airframer Irkut has begun exploratory talks with Bombardier over plans to cooperate in providing customer support for its planned MC-21 narrowbody airliner. Irkut wants to tap the Canadian group’s expertise in setting up customer support infrastructure.
Irkut and the Yakovlev Design Bureau announced at the Paris Air Show this week that they expect Bangladesh to sign up for the Yak-130 trainer/light attack platform before the end of the year. If this happens, the nation will join a growing number of nations that have ordered the type, including Belarus last December.
Russian aviation executives said the Irkut-led MC-21 narrowbody airliner development program is proceeding according to schedule. At a Paris Air Show briefing on Tuesday, program officials said the design is frozen on the first aircraft in the series, the MC-21-300, and parts manufacturing has started.
The Russian government is seeking to put in place measures to boost the export prospects of the Irkut-led MC-21 next generation narrowbody jetliner, which is now scheduled to have its maiden flight in 2015, certification in 2017 and availability to airlines in worthwhile numbers from 2020 onwards.
The Russian Defense Ministry has signed a follow-on contract with Irkut for 30 more Su-30SM two-seat multirole fighters, for delivery by 2016. This deal follows one concluded in March last year, for 30 such aircraft for delivery by 2015.
The first Sukhoi Su-30SM two-seat multirole fighter performed its maiden flight on September 21, followed four days later by the second Su-30SM. Sukhoi test pilot Sergei Kostin and navigator Pavel Malovechko served as the crew on both occasions. Flight durations were two hours and one hour 40 minutes, respectively, and both flights were uneventful. Both missions originated from the aerodrome of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant (IAZ) in Western Siberia. IAZ is the main manufacturing site for Irkut.