Here at Farnborough International Airshow, Russia’s Irkut is demonstrating its Yakovlev Yak-130 combat trainer. Although the aircraft has participated in various air shows before, this time it represents a version of the jet already in service with the Russian and Algerian air forces.
More than a week of almost incessant torrential rain will do little to dampen the industry’s ardor for this morning’s opening of the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow. But it has certainly posed huge challenges for organizers who have worked around the clock to try to minimize the anticipated disruption.
Two months after suffering a fatal accident involving a demonstration airplane once used for air show appearances, Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ) program partners Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) and SuperJet International (SJI) are hoping to dampen further speculation about the disaster, at least for this week. Helping it with this will be an Aeroflot SSJ in the static display, and a possible follow-on order from Mexico’s Interjet.
Geopolitical shifts including regime-change in Libya, the stiffening of international sanctions against Iran and violent unrest in Syria, are among the trends compelling Russian military export agency Rosoboronexport to keep looking for new clients worldwide. This is, to a large degree, one of its primary motives for exhibiting at the Farnborough International Airshow.
Irkut is pursuing its ambition of capturing a 10-percent share in the world market for narrowbody airliners by funding its new MC-21 twinjet largely from funds earned from fighter sales. The Russian airframer now claims a 15-percent share of Russia’s overall military exports by value.
Even though its investigation is ongoing, the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) issued five safety recommendations on June 26, relating to the May 9 crash this year of a Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional airliner on a demonstration flight from Jakarta.
Farnborough International organizers say that both static and flying displays for the 2012 show will be full, with a significant portion of the aircraft roster still to be publicly confirmed as of press time. Among the anticipated highlights could be one of the earlier in-service examples of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by high-profile Arabian Gulf carrier Qatar Airways. Also on the cards are two other, as yet undisclosed, Boeing transports.
Search crews Wednesday evening found the flight data recorder from the Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 that crashed on May 9 into a cliff near Indonesia’s Mount Salak, some 60 miles south of Jakarta. All forty-five occupants died in the crash. An Indonesian recovery team found the FDR from SSJ100 S/N 95004 about a kilometer (0.62 miles) from the site of the collision.
The joint Indo-Russian project to produce a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) for the Indian Air Force is facing a two-year delay. It will now take nine years instead of the stipulated seven to develop. The Indian Air Force attributes the delay to Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), which has a workshare of 25 percent in the program.
The latest contender for the sector of the market dominated by Embraer’s E-Jet line and Bombardier’s CRJs suffered perhaps the worst kind of public-relations damage one could imagine this month, when a Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 crashed into a sheer mountain face in Indonesia, killing all 45 people on board.