MC-21 aircraft has flown nonstop from Irkutsk to Zhukovsky

On October 17 2017, the first test MC-21-300 aircraft flew from the airfield of Irkutsk Aviation Plant to the airfield of Flight Research Institute n.a. M.M. Gromov (Ramenskoye, Moscow Region), to continue flight tests.

The aircraft flew nonstop 4 500 km for 6 hours at the altitude of 10 000 meters.

Mr Oleg Kononenko, the Hero of Russia, the test pilot and the flight crew commander, noted: “The flight went in standard mode. All aircraft systems operated without failures.”

Mr Yuri Slyusar, the President of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and Irkut Corporation said: “Today we open the new milestone of MC-21 program. Ahead, there is a continuation of flight and ground tests, introduction of new aircraft samples into test program, certification and initiation of serial production. Together with Irkut Corporation, a number of UAC enterprises, our partners from Rostec Corporation, and leading foreign companies participate in the MC-21 program. This program moves our enterprises to the new technological level and ensures the professional growth of our specialists.”

Mr Oleg Demchenko, the First Vice-President and the Chief Designer of Irkut Corporation said: “Flight tests of MC-21 aircraft performed at Irkutsk Aviation Plant, together with the long flight (from Irkutsk to Ramenskoye) prove declared aircraft characteristics. Since today, tests will be continued at Flight Test and Development Facility of Yakovlev Design Bureau. The new hangar with the new up-to-date complex for collection, processing, and storage of information, obtained during flight and ground tests, had been built for MC-21 basing.”



The New-Generation MC-21-300 commercial aircraft

MC-21-300 new generation aircraft with capacity of 163 to 211 passengers targets the most massive segment of aviation market.

MC-21 aircraft provides passengers with the qualitatively new level of comfort, due to the biggest fuselage diameter in the category of narrow-body aircraft. This design decision significantly widens private space of each passenger, ensures free passage of passenger and service trolley over the aisle, and shortens airport turnover time. Natural lighting of the passenger cabin is enhanced due to big windows. Comfortable air pressure and advanced microclimate is maintained in the aircraft.

MC-21 aircraft features an innovative ergonomic pilot cabin.

High demands for comfort and economic effectiveness of the aircraft pushed forward introduction of advanced technical solutions in aerodynamics, engine-building, and avionics.

MC-21 aircraft is superior to existing counterparts in terms of flight-technical characteristics and efficiency.

The major contributor to the enhancement of flight-technical characteristics of the aircraft is the wing made of polymer composite materials, the first-in-the-word one developed for narrow-body aircraft with the capacity of over 130 passengers. The share of composites in MC-21 design exceeding 30% is unique for this category of aircraft.

For the first time in the history of Russian aircraft manufacturing, the airliner is offered to the customers with two options of power plant - PW1400G of Pratt & Whitney Company (USA) or PD-14 of United Engine Corporation (Russia). New-generation engines feature reduced fuel consumption, low noise and hazardous emissions. MC-21 aircraft meets prospective environmental requirements.

Calculated reduction of direct operational costs for MC-21 is 12-15% lower than for counterparts.

The initial portfolio of firm orders for 175 MC-21 aircraft provides utilization of production capacity in the coming years. All firm contracts are prepaid.

The Russian enterprises are the integrators of the major aircraft systems. During implementation of MC-21 program, the competence centres have been established in Russia for development and manufacturing of components made of composite materials. With the purpose of introduction of new technologies, the radical modernisation of manufacturing facilities of Irkutsk Aviation Plant (the affiliate of Irkut Corporation) and a number of aviation-building and related enterprises has been implemented.    

The major participants of the MC-21 program are: Irkut Corporation, an affiliate of UAC, as the head contractor, the enterprises of UAC, Rostec State Corporation, and foreign companies.

Currently, the first test aircraft undergoes flight tests, the second test sample underdoes static tests in TsAGI. Four more samples are being built at Irkutsk Aviation Plant. Starting next year, they will be gradually introduced into the test program.


MC-21-300 Flight Performance


Two-class layout capacity                                         163 seats (16 business + 147 economy) 

Dense layout capacity                                               211 seats

Maximum take-off weight                                       79 250 kg

Maximum payload                                                    22 600 kg

Maximum flight range                                              6 000 km


Length                                                                     42.2 m 

Wing span                                                    35.9 m

Height                                                          11.5 m



MC-21 Program: Brief Timeline


In July 2007, the Board of United Aircraft Corporation made a decision on the start of  works on the program of creation of MC-21 short-medium range aircraft, with Irkutsk Corporation designated as the developer.

 In August 2007, Irkut Corporation revealed the concept and the business-plan of the MC-21 project as the family of short-medium range aircraft.

In December 2008, tenders were announced for development and supply of the MC-21 systems.

In 2008, full-scale state funding of the program was started. Irkutsk Aviation Plant (IAP) began implementation of the comprehensive program of technical re-equipment, directed to preparation for MC-21 manufacturing, financed from the state budget, own funds, and the loan of Sberbank of Russia.

 During 2009, negotiations with potential suppliers of components were performed, so that by December the list of suppliers of the systems was mainly defined. 

In 2009, the tests of separate items of similar design were started. The extensive test program is being continued by now, at more than 100 benches, including four integrative ones. In particular, testing and finishing of aircraft systems, on-board equipment, and elements of aircraft's structure are performed.

In 2010, preliminary design project was approved, the key technical and technological decisions were made, the major solutions on after-sale support and integrated logistics were determined. 

On 6 June 2010, by the Order of The President of the Russian Federation, Irkut Corporation was designated as the only contractor of the State Orders for creation of MC-21 aircraft family.

In 2013, development of design documentation for base version was completed, mastering of aircraft manufacturing was started.

In 2014-2016, a number of new production facilities were put into operation at IAP, within the frame of technological preparation for manufacturing. In particular, installation of the aggregate and final assembly line was finished.

On 8 June 2016, the rollout of the first test MC-21-300 aircraft designated for flight tests was implemented.

 On 28 April 2017, the first flight test MC-21-300 aircraft was transferred from the final assembly shop to the IAP flight test division.

 On 13-19 May 2017, MC-21-300-0001 aircraft performed taxiing and speed runs within the frame of preparation for the maiden flight.

On 25 May 2017, the Methodical Council of Experimental Aviation On Flight Tests issued the approval for the maiden flight of MC-21 aircraft. 

On 28 May 2017, MC-21 performed the maiden flight.

On May-October 2017, flight tests of MC-21-300 aircraft were performed at IAP.

On 17 October 2017, MC-21-300 test aircraft flew to Ramenskoye airport for further flight tests at Flight Test and Development Facility of Yakovlev Design Bureau, where the new up-to-date complex for collection, processing, and storage of information, obtained during flight and ground tests, had been built.


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