Second SSJ Takes Flight
The second of four planned Sukhoi SSJ100 prototypes–S/N 95003–took to the skies on December 24, joining the flight-test program started in May with the first flight of S/N 95001. The aircraft took off from the factory runway and safely landed after a two-hour, 30-minute flight that reached an altitude of 20,000 feet. Piloted by Sukhoi test pilot Capt. Leonid Chikunov and Nikolai Pushenko, the airplane performed traditional stability and handling-quality tests as well as systems checks in accordance with the first-flight test card. S/N 95003 introduced a number of software modifications based on the results of the flight envelope evaluations done on the first prototype, according to Chikunov. The first prototype has spent more than 200 hours aloft since its first flight.