Tue, May 20, 2008
All-New Russian RJ Completed First Flight Monday
The struggling Russian aviation
industry got a boost this week. The first flight of the Sukhoi
SuperJet 100 took place Monday, as reported by Sukhoi
representatives. The first flight of the airliner was expected in
2007, but construction delays hindered progress.
Under the control of Sukhoi Chief Pilot Alexander Yablontsev,
the SuperJet 100 took off from its manufacturing facility in
Komsomolsk-on-Amur, a remote city nearly 5000 miles east of Moscow.
The aircraft reached an altitude of nearly 4000 feet during the
hour and five minute flight and flew several maneuvers over the
airport before successfully landing. During the maiden flight the
crew confirmed the high thrust-to-weight ratio and the sustained
operation of the engines and systems.
"I am happy! After so many years we are here. We did it. I am
very delighted that we are the first who have taken the new Russian
jet off. This aircraft is a real success, and I can surely state
that it is as easy to pilot as Airbus or Boeing's planes I had
previously captained," said Captain Yablontsev.
"Our team comprised of thousands of people from all over the
world shares in this success. At the same time, there are a lot of
things to do - certification tests are ahead" said Mikhail
Pogosyan, Director General of Sukhoi Holding.
The French aerospace company Snecma and Italy's Alenia are both
involved with the SuperJet 100 program.
Currently holding 73 confirmed orders for the 100, Sukhoi is
hoping to sell 800 models of the aircraft between now and 2024,
including 300 for Russian and 500 for foreign airlines.
The 100-passenger regional aircraft is expected to sell for
around $28 million and has been advertised to be less expensive
than similar aircraft currently in the market.
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