MC-21 maiden flight is scheduled for spring 2017

The second MC-21 prototype with the composite wing already attached to the fuselage at Russia's TsAGI Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute The second MC-21 prototype with the composite wing already attached to the fuselage at Russia's TsAGI Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (Photo by ATO.ru)

The new single-aisle MC-21 maiden flight is scheduled on spring 2017, Russia’s vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin confirmed during the program review meeting at the TsAGI Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute named after N.E. Zhukovsky on December 20. According to Oleg Demchenko, president of Irkut Corporation, the company which is leading the aircraft development program, all the tests included in the maiden flight preparation program, are to be finished by the end of Q1 2017. In early March all the documents should be transferred to TsAGI to receive the technical approval to begin the flight tests, he explained.

МС-21 flight prototype has already completed power-on tests in Irkutsk. Now it has started frequency-response tests. The aim of the tests is to eliminate the possibility of dangerous aeroelastic resonant vibrations of the aircraft structure in the air. These tests are planned to be completed in the second half of January. The flight prototype is to be transferred to the flight testing station in February.

Moreover TsAGI is now finishing the second MC-21 prototype assembly which will be used in static tests. The aircraft is already attached to the composite wing.

MC-21 to begin flight tests with Pratt & Whitney PW1400G engines installed. However according to Rogozin, one of the first prototypes will be later refurbished with Russian PD-14 powerplants. PD-14 engines developed by United Engine Corporation (UEC) are now undergoing flight tests on an Ilyushin Il-76LL flying testbed.

MC-21 prototype prepares for the first flight in Irkutsk (Phot by Irkut)

MC-21 prototype prepares for the first flight in Irkutsk (Phot by Irkut)

MC-21-300 version designed to carry 160-211 passengers will be the first to enter the market. The tests are carried out precisely with its prototypes. The development of a less capacious MC-21-200 (130-165 seats) will start later. There are firm orders for 175 MC-21 aircraft to date.

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