Russia’s aircraft interiors industry achieved 15-percent growth in revenue last year, much of it from work on business and private aircraft. According to the country’s Association of Aviation Interiors Companies, its 17 members account for 90 percent of completions work for indigenously produced aircraft.
Sukhoi Superjet 100
While most aviation safety sources have identified loss of control (LOC) as the leading cause of accidents in the past few years, controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) “is making a strong comeback,” according to Flight Safety Foundation fellow Jim Burin.
Indonesia’s Sky Aviation took delivery of its first Sukhoi Superjet 100, Sukhoi announced on February 27. Superjet S/N95022–the first of 12 SSJ100s ordered by Sky Aviation–flew to Jakarta Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport following interior installation and painting at the Aviastar plant in Ulianovsk, Russia.
Sky has sent the airplane to its base in Makassar, South Sulawesi, from where it planned to begin flying routes to Denpasar, Bali; Balikpapan, East Kalimantan; and Sorong, Papua, on March 10.
Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft is stepping up the development of its Sukhoi Business Jet (SBJ) and is set to install an executive interior into the first example of the Superjet 100-Long Range (SSJ100-LR) airliner, from which its new VIP model is derived.
Russia’s Yakutia Airlines took the first of three Bombardier Q400 turboprops to its base at Yakutsk Airport in late January, marking the first-ever delivery of the big turboprop to a Russian operator. Yakutia’s new status as a Q400 operator follows type approval for the type by Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) in June last year.
Citing design issues, on February 11 Russia’s Rosaviatsia aviation authority ordered Aeroflot to ground four of its 10 Superjet 100 airliners. Manufacturer Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. said the issues related to a service bulletin about aircraft slats and landing gear. On February 15, Sukhoi announced that all four aircraft had been cleared to resume operations.
As the first Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100 destined for Western launch customer Interjet of Mexico rolled out of its paint hangar in Venice, Italy, on February 11, industry observers digested a seemingly unprompted statement from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft’s Moscow headquarters summarizing design problems uncovered during the airplane’s 23 months of service history.
The Russian government has granted Sukhoi Civil Aircraft loan guarantees worth $1 billion under the credit line opened by Kremlin-controlled VEB bank to finance work related to the manufacture of Superjet SSJ-100s. The government decree, issued on December 29, calls for SCAC to repay the VEB loan within 12 years starting in January 2015. The government guarantees expire in July 2026.
Despite realignment, increased government investment and the appearance of political resolve, the Russian airliner industry has achieved little success in expanding its civil production over the past four years. Although it has nearly doubled its delivery total, from 11 jetliners in 2009, to 10 in 2010, 18 in 2011 and 19 in 2012, the industry’s hopes to launch a challenge to the Western world’s manufacturing powers remain unfulfilled and distant.
The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee’s recent final accident report on the May 9, 2012 crash of a Sukhoi Superjet 100 appears to leave little doubt the accident that killed all 45 people aboard was to the result of pilot error.