Paris Air Show

Paris 2011: SSJ100 On Weight Program As Aeroflot Launches Scheduled Service

 - June 2, 2011, 2:00 AM

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 will eventually welcome a new, larger sibling, possibly one as large as 130 seats in capacity, but not until the original SSJ100-95–on display here at Le Bourget–loses some weight for Aeroflot and gains some range for Latin American launch customer Interjet of Mexico.

Specifically, it the SSJ100 needs to shed some 1,750 pounds, a United Aircraft Corp. official said following a roundtable luncheon hosted by UAC president Mikhail Pogosyan.

 Meanwhile, Interjet’s planned hot-and-high operations will require somewhat more than the standard range of 1,645 nm the airplane now offers.

Directly from the show, theThe Paris Air Show SSJ100 debutante will fly directly to Toulouse after the show for EASA trials. Following the trials, it will go, then to Dubai for hot-weather testing and then, followed byto Mexico for high-altitude work.

The company hopes to gain EASA certification by the end of the year and deliver the Interjet’s first of 15 airplanes on firm order some time next year. Sukhoi reports holdingfirm orders for a total of 170 Superjets.

Now proving itself in revenue operations under Russian certification standards for Aeroflot and Armavia, the SSJ100 boasts a 98- percent dispatch reliability record during its two months in service. To date, the SSJ100 has flown more than 270 hours during some 120 flights.

Aeroflot flew the airplane for the first time on June 16 from Moscow to St. Petersburg. The Russian flagcarrier expects delivery of its second airplane some time in August.

By the end of the year, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft expects to deliver nine more airplanes to Aeroflot and one more to Armavia.

Despite the airplane’s weight challenges, Pogosyan expressed satisfaction with the airplane’s early operational performance and confidence that its sales figures would markedly improve, once it proves itself in service over an extended time period.

To datehaving drawn firm orders for 170 examples, the SSJ100 has flown more than 270 hours during some 120 flights.

“We understand a lot is ahead,” said Pogosyan said. “But the project is a success. The [SSJ100] is the best regional airplane on the market today.”