The first MC-21-300 fitted with a passenger cabin joins flight tests
A third MC-21-300 flight test aircraft – and the first fitted with a passenger cabin – has successfully been ferried on May 13 from Ulyanovsk to Ramenskoye airport (Zhukovsky, Moscow region), thus joining the other two prototypes which have been currently performing flights under the advanced narrow-body aircraft’s certification test programme.
The latest aircraft – sporting the manufacturer’s registration number MSN73054 – was assembled at Irkutsk in December 2018 and took to the air in March of this year. At the Ulyanovsk Spektr-Avia enterprise it received its corporate colour scheme, with the only distinction from the other prototypes being its big number ‘003’ located in the rear fuselage.
The aircraft, the first prototype fitted out with a passenger cabin, is to make its public debut at Moscow’s MAKS-2019 air show in August.
Hopefully, the arrival of a third aircraft will speed up the MC-21 flight test programme. Manufacturer United Aircraft Corporation expects that the basic version of the MC-21-300, powered by the United States’ PW1400G engines, will initially be certified in Russia in 2020, followed by European certification a year later. Deliveries of the MC-21 version powered by Russian PD-14 engines are to begin in 2022, according to the programme.
The MC-21-300 is designed to carry up to 210 passengers over distances up to 6,000 km. It is expected that it will compete in the most expansive segment of medium-haul, narrow-body aircraft market, competing with the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737MAX, as well as with the Chinese C919.
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