Certification this past summer by EASA and the Russian authorities of the Powerjet SaM 146 engine no doubt marked an important milestone in Franco-Russian industrial cooperation. But the wisdom of the decision by France’s Snecma to participate in the program will remain a matter of debate for years to come.
Novato, Calif.-based Willis Lease Finance, a leading lessor of commercial jet engines, last month signaled its intention to enter the regional jet leasing business by signing an MOU with Superjet International covering the purchase of six Sukhoi Superjet 100s and options for four more.
The third Sukhoi Superjet 100 landed in Italy for the first time yesterday at Turin Caselle Airport, where it continued its flight test campaign in preparation for expected year-end certification. The aircraft (prototype S/N 950004) took off from the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft’s flight test center in Zhukovsky, near Moscow.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) could enter the regional turboprop segment as early as next year, if it proceeds with the launch of a 90-seat aircraft it is currently evaluating. The company had rejected the idea of a regional jet due to the crowded market already existing with segment leaders Embraer and Bombardier being joined by new aircraft from Mitsubishi, Sukhoi and AVIC.
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.
Raytheon Gets the Nod for P-8I Radar
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.
Superjet International insists that it will meet its commitment to deliver the first of its Superjet 100s to Aeroflot and Armavia before year-end despite another short projected delay in completing Russian certification in October, as opposed to September. A breakthrough for the delayed program came less than a month ago on June 23 when the airliner’s SaM146 engine achieved certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
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.
Sukhoi has completed its preliminary flight and bench trials program for the T-50 PAK-FA fighter. Three airframes were built for the initial campaign, comprising one static aircraft (T-50-0), one flying prototype (T-50-1) and an avionics testbed (T-50-2). A display flight by T-50-1 on June 17 in front of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin marked the 16th time the aircraft had flown.