IRKUTSK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – The 3rd prototype of the Irkut MC-21 flew for the first time on Saturday. The Russian airliner completed a 90 minute test flight from Irkut Airport in Russia. This is the 1st MC-21 that is equipped with a passenger cabin.
During the test flight, the MC-21-300 reached a maximum height of 11,483 ft (3,500m) and a top speed of 243 kts (280 mph/450 kph), the aircraft corporation announced.
In addition to the usual test equipment, the 3rd prototype has a passenger cabin. This aircraft will be presented during the Russian MAKS Air Show, which will be held on August 27 – September 1 this year. It will be the first public presentation of the MC-21.
This year, a 4th prototype of the MC-21 will also make its first flight. The test aircraft are deployed in the context of the certification program of the new type. The aircraft will go into production this year.
The MC-21 is the Russian answer to the Airbus A320 NEO and Boeing 737 MAX. The Irkut MC-21 is a Russian single-aisle twinjet airliner, developed by the Yakovlev Design Bureau and produced by its parent Irkut, a branch of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). The initial design started in 2006 and detailed design was ongoing in 2011. After delaying the scheduled introduction from 2012 to 2020, Irkut rolled out the first MC-21-300 on 8 June 2016 and first flew the aircraft on May 28, 2017.
It has a carbon fibre reinforced polymer wing and is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1000G or Aviadvigatel PD-14 turbofans. With a capacity of 132–163 passengers in two class, up to 165–211 and up to 3,200–3,500 nmi (6,000–6,400 km) range, the standard MC-21-300 will be followed by a shortened variant, the MC-21-200. By July 2018, it had received 175 firm orders and recorded nearly 150 intentions.
(Top image: from IRKUT Corporation video on YouTube)