Best known as a producer of the Sukhoi Su-30MK series of heavy fighters, Russia’s Irkut Corp. is looking to the commercial sector to provide the backbone of its future. The MC-21 airliner project is now in development and Irkut recently selected a series of Western systems suppliers as it moves toward a projected first flight date in 2014.
Continued tensions in the Far East and southern Asia are ensuring that the region remains a major sales battleground for the world’s fighter houses. At stake is the sale of several hundred new combat aircraft in the coming years as air arms seek to modernize their forces or, in the case of countries such as Japan and Singapore, stay ahead of the regional threat.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) missed its December target for delivery of the first Superjet 100 regional jets to launch operator Aeroflot after delays involving the certification and delivery of the program’s PowerJet SaM146 engines forced the Russian manufacturer to revise its schedules once again.
The second Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100 successfully completed its high-altitude flight test campaign in Armenia this week, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) announced yesterday. According to SCAC, the tests confirmed all design takeoff and landing characteristics and ensure safe and reliable operation from airfields situated as high as 10,000 feet.
The global recession didn’t seem to suppress the appetite for new equipment among customers of Russia and the former Soviet Union at this month’s MAKS’2009 airshow in Moscow, where a number of programs, new and established, drew a surprising level of interest from buyers from around the globe.
The Russian government has finally committed to production of the Sukhoi Su-35 combat aircraft, which features thrust-vectoring and e-scan radar. At the MAKS 2009 airshow at Zhukovsky airbase near Moscow this month, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed a contract worth $2.5 billion for 48 Su-35S models. They will be delivered to the Russian Air Force by 2015.
Esterline CMC Electronics unveiled the newest version of its PilotView electronic flight bag last month at the Paris Air Show. The CMA-1410 features a 10.4-inch-diagonal display, Intel Centrino mobile processor running Windows XP, USB ports and built-in Wi-Fi capability. The new system will allow pilots to view electronic charts, graphical weather downloads, checklists, operator manuals and other electronic data in the cockpit.
The next variation of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 will almost certainly involve a stretch of the existing 95-seat baseline platform, leaving the once highly anticipated 75-seat version in a state of virtual limbo.
U.S. aerospace consultancy Teal Group has forecast demand for 2,909 regional aircraft worth $65.9 billion over the next 10 years. The projection includes 1,732 regional jets worth $46.9 billion and 1,177 turboprops worth $19 billion (2009 dollars).
Russian aircraft lessor Avialeasing yesterday converted a letter of intent for 24 Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional airliners signed at last July’s Farnborough airshow into a firm order valued at $715 million. Scheduled for delivery between 2011 and 2013, the airplanes are destined for Avialeasing customer airlines.