Second MC-21 flying prototype to be powered up in October
The second flying prototype of the Russian MC-21-300 narrowbody airliner is expected to be powered up for the first time on October 20, the OEM’s corporate newspaper Irkutskiy Aviastroitel reports. The airframe is scheduled to commence flight tests in December.
The planemaker will complete assembly of the third prototype in April 2018, federal broadcaster Irkutsk reports, citing Irkut Corporation CEO Alexander Veprev.
In the meantime, the first MC-21 flying prototype will depart for Zhukovsky airfield in mid-October for a set of certification tests.
The МС-21-300 flight test program was launched on May 28, 2017. The initial stage of the factory flight tests was completed on June 23; this included six flights, which allowed for checking on the airplane’s stability and controllabiilty with the landing gear up both up and down.
The test program also covered checks on the powerplant and various onboard systems. The second phase, commenced in September; is mainly focused on running the aircraft through an extended range of flight regimes. By the beginning of the second stage of flight tests, the software and several systems of the prototype had been upgraded.
So far, the existing МС-21-300s have been powered by certified Pratt & Whitney PW1400G engines. The fourth flight test article will be fitted with Russian-made Aviadvigatel PD-14s, as announced earlier by Deputy Prime Mnister Dmitry Rogozin.
Along with the flight tests, the aircraft is currently undergoing a major ground test program, which started in summer 2016 when the first MC-21 was delivered to the Zhukovskiy’ Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI). The entire ground test program will involve three test articles.
Irkut is completing assembly of four aircraft, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) reports. The airframer received the kit for the fourth airplane from Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar SP earlier this summer; Avisatar announced at the time that it would deliver two more kits to Irkutsk by the end of 2017. The assembly of the first production МС-21-300s was expected to start this year as well according to the earlier plans.
The latest news available suggests the PW1400G-powered aircraft will be certified in Russia in 2019. The МС-21 order backlog currently stands at 175 units.
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