Russia’s SSJ100 to expand high latitude envelope

The SSJ100 is Russia's new regional jetliner The tests are being undertaken at the request of an existing Russian operator (SCAC)

Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) has commenced additional trials on its Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) regional jetliners to test it for basing at airports located up to 78 deg 15 min north latitude. Previously, the airliner was only cleared to based at up to 78 deg north.

On March 21, the test aircraft (registration 97005) performed a flight to the world’s northernmost commercial airport, Svalbard on Spitsbergen in the Arctic Ocean, the OEM reports. The test program included taxiing to stand, complete shutdown and restart of all systems, and setting the inertial navigation systems in different ways. The airliner then returned to its base at Zhukovsky airport outside Moscow.

“The Arctic is a unique place, and the flight conditions in polar regions are quite specific,” SCAC comments. “These special conditions may manifest themselves in the operation of the onboard navigation equipment. For instance, problems may develop related to the settings of the inertial systems, because in these regions [the systems] approach the limits set by their manufacturers. There may also be GPS signal disruptions, because the satellite constellation over the region is underrepresented.”

Certification of the SSJ100 for an expanded latitude envelope is scheduled for the second quarter of this year. According to preliminary results, no modifications will be required for the approval, the OEM told Russian Aviation Insider. Initially the aircraft will have its Russian type certificate expanded, because the trials are being performed at the request of an existing Russian operator.

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