Aeroflot Now Fully Equipped with ‘Full’ Superjets

 - June 30, 2014, 11:00 AM
An Aeroflot SSJ100 in Full configuration is towed at Moscow's Sheremetievo International Airport. (Photo: Vladimir Karnozov)

Aeroflot accepted its tenth Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100 on June 26 in the so-called Full version, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) announced on Monday, thereby completing the transition of the fleet from 10 SSJ100 Lights, all of which the Russian flag carrier has returned. SCAC said the next phase of its reconciliation with Aeroflot will see it deliver 20 more aircraft under the terms of the companies’ December 2005 contract. The manufacturer promises delivery of eight more Superjets to Aeroflot by year-end.

The most recently delivered Superjet bears the registration RA-89027 and carries the name of Vasily Borisov, a distinguished World War II pilot. As the largest Superjet operator, Aeroflot has logged more than 30,000 hours with the airplane on 20,000 revenue flights. The Superjets operate scheduled services inside Russia and to 12 European countries.

After careful inspection and repair, SCAC has delivered the original “Light” versions of the SSJ100 to smaller Russian carriers such as Moscow-based Centre-Avia. They operate both scheduled and charter flights on domestic and international routes inside the CIS, Eastern Europe and Asia.

SCAC insists that in 2005 Aeroflot signed for 30 aircraft with single-class cabins seating 98 passengers. Later the carrier decided to alter the cabin layout for 87 passengers (12 business and 75 economy) and add an avionics package. To continue deliveries under the original schedule, both parties reached an agreement under which SCAC would deliver the first 10 Superjets in a Light version and later replace them with Full-version airplanes. Subsequently, 10 SSJ100 Lights went to Aeroflot between mid-2011 and late 2012.

The Full version features an improved flight management system (cured of some early glitches) and weather radar that can detect wind shear. It also carries more cameras for cabin surveillance and separately controlled lighting systems in the business and economy cabin sections. The improved airplanes also have another work station for a steward in the optional kitchen at the back of the service zone and individual fresh-air outlets for each passenger. The Superjet in Full version comes with three lavatories, four kitchen modules and a number of other conveniences not included in the Light configuration.

Of 24 Superjets assembled and flown last year (up from 12 in 2012), only a dozen went to airlines before year-end. As of late December, the remainder of the Sukhoi twinjets either needed interior installation, sat parked as “while tails” or simply remained undelivered to intended customers.

The Superjet entered service in April 2011, when Armavia accepted  S/N 95007. That same year Aeroflot took four, taking shipments that first year to five aircraft. Deliveries in 2012 saw six aircraft go to Aeroflot; Yakutia and PT Sky Aviation accepted one each. In 2013 Yakutia acquired its second Superjet, PT Sky Aviation added two and Gazpromavia accepted the first deliverable SSJ100-95LR, with a max takeoff weight of 50 metric tons and range of 4,100 km (Aeroflot’s SSJ100B Full weighs 46 metric tons and can carry 87 passengers 2,400 km).