Superjet Flies

 - May 29, 2008, 4:58 AM

Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft flew the new Superjet 100 for the first time on May 19 from the company’s main assembly site in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The milestone came some six months after the company had originally hoped to stage the maiden voyage of the 95-seat regional jet, scheduled now for delivery to launch customer Aeroflot next spring. Sukhoi civil chief pilot Alexander Yablontsev and test pilot Leonid Chikunov spent one hour and five minutes aloft, during which time they took the airplane to an altitude of 4,000 feet. During its premiere flight, the Sukhoi Superjet 100 took off, flew over the takeoff runway four times at different altitudes, completed a box pattern and landed. The pilot crew said they confirmed the high thrust-to-weight ratio and the sustainable operation of the engines and main systems. The airplane has drawn firm orders for 73 examples, mainly from non-Western airlines. The company projects deliveries of 1,800 Superjets over 20 years.