Ask someone in the Russian aviation community about the Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) program and you’ll likely receive a variety of reactions. Except for those enterprises that have a vested interest in the project, responses range from the skeptical to the derisive.
United Aircraft Corporation
Russia’s Air Register of International Aviation Committee (AMRAK) in late June awarded the Tupolev Tu-334 regional jet AP-25 certification, allowing revenue operation of the RSK MiG/Aviant-built 102-seat jets after five years of intermittent test flying. The approval, which hypothetically parallels FAR Part 25, came just two months after RSK MiG director Vladimir Toryanin threatened to shut down program development for lack of funds.
For years, airshow crowds have been wowed by the superlative demonstrations of Russian fighters, but now visitors here at Le Bourget can sample the delights of flying such aircraft themselves. On the Sukhoi stand (Hall 4, Stand G15) a Su-35 flight simulator creates a realistic atmosphere not to be taken lightly by those prone to air sickness.
Volga-Dnepr (Hall 4 Stand E16) and Ilyushin Interstate Aviation signed a general agreement here Monday for three firm orders and 10 options for IL-76TD-90VD freighters. A firm contract is to be signed by the end of July with first delivery following within 15 months.
Hellenic Aerospace Industry and Irkut have signed a memo of understanding paving the way for future cooperation in the event that Greece buys the Beriev Be-200 fire-fighting aircraft. Kyriakos Linakis, HAI’s chairman, said the MoU provided an opportunity for the two companies to cooperate in maintenance and manufacturing. If Greece opts for the Be-200, the country will use the airplane for search and rescue, patrol and other operations.
The Irkut aviation plant on Sunday delivered the first two Su-30MKM multirole fighters to Malaysia, where they will be reassembled. Four more will follow in the summer and another six by the end of the year. The 18-aircraft order will be completed next year. The first two Su-30MKMs had been formally handed over to the Malaysian air force in a ceremony in Irkutsk on May 24.
In 2006, orders for Russian armaments totaled $30 billion, while aggregate military exports exceeded the target figure by 20 percent, setting a record of $6.5 billion. Russian President Vladimir Putin believes the country has all the preconditions to become the leader of the world arms market.
U.S.-based Hawkins & Powers Aviation recently signed a letter of intent to take eight Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR715-powered Beriev Be-200 amphibious jets from Russia’s NPK Irkut. At the signing ceremony, NPK Irkut President Alexei Fedorov said the Be-200 program “is achieving global recognition.”
The 80-seat Antonov An-148-100 won type approval from Russian and Ukrainian authorities in late February, marking the successful completion of the first new regional jet design in the former Soviet Union since the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Appointing a Sukhoi man to the top position at RSK MiG is becoming a tradition. On November 4 the Russian government named Valery Toryanin, deputy general director at Sukhoi, as RSK MiG general director and general designer. Toryanin, 53, is a graduate of the Moscow Aviation Institute and joined Sukhoi after a 20-year military career in various agencies involved with military exports.