EADS has backed a pledge to launch a big push to strengthen its presence in new markets around the world, while seeking to avoid costly engineering and planning errors, by signing a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) on research collaboration with Russia’s Skolkovo Foundation. Jean Botti, EADS chief technical officer, and Viktor Vekselberg, executive president of the Skolkovo Foundation, signed the agreement in Paris on March 2.
United Aircraft Corporation
Investigators suspect a faulty air-speed indication as a possible cause of the crash of an Antonov An-148 in western Russia on March 5 that killed all six people aboard, Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency reported. The investigation team has theorized that the pilots, misled by the faulty airspeed indication, inadvertently exceeded the aircraft’s aerodynamic limits.
Investigators expect, by this coming weekend, to release preliminary data gleaned from the flight recorders recovered from an Antonov An-148 that crashed in western Russia on March 5, killing all six people aboard, Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency reported today. Witnesses on the ground reported that the Russian-built regional jet began to break apart while in flight, before crashing onto a private lot in western Russia’s Belgorod region.
India will join Russia in the development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) as well as a multirole transport aircraft (MTA). At a meeting in Delhi, the defense ministers of both countries confirmed the projects, although India has not yet signed a draft $300 million preliminary design contract for the FGFA. The MTA agreement was signed last month, when Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
Russian aircraft manufacturer Irkut signed a memorandum of understanding with Ilyushin Finance at Farnborough for the sale of 50 MC-21 airliners, Irkut’s first announced orders, albeit MOUs. MOUs don’t strictly count until they become firm orders backed by substantial deposits, but it’s a start. Before the airshow, Irkut reported only interest from Russian and Western airlines.
Irkut has signed a memorandum of understanding with VEB Leasing, a subsidiary of Russian-based Vnesheconombank, for 15 firm and 15 optional MC-21 narrowbody airliners. The signing took place on Monday and the Russian airframer’s CEO, Oleg Demchenko, promised more contracts will come here at the show.
Recent orders for the Mikoyan MiG-29K may pave the way for further successes for the sea-going version of the “Fulcrum,” according to RSK MiG. A first batch of MiG-29Ks and KUB trainers for the Indian navy was followed by a second order this March for 29 aircraft. Meanwhile, the Russian navy has decided to buy 26 MiG-29K/KUBs to replace its Sukhoi Su-33s.
While development of the T-50 PAK-FA gathers pace, the Su-35 remains Sukhoi’s export priority for the next five to seven years. The aircraft is designed to plug the gap between the existing Su-30 and future fifth-generation fighters. According to Sukhoi, the Su-35 already incorporates some fifth-generation technology, thereby having an edge over other fourth-generation combat platforms.
This week’s Farnborough airshow will provide the closest look yet at what Irkut Corp. plans to deliver when it completes development of its MC-21 airliner family. The Russian company has had an almost full-scale mockup of the single-aisle transport produced in the U.S. and it will unveil it here today.
The third Sukhoi Superjet 100 (S/N 95004) has completed cold-soak trials in Yakutsk, in Russia’s Far East, and returned to the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) flight-test center in Zhukovsky, the manufacturer announced last month.