Superjet makes first appearance in Italy

 - September 30, 2010, 6:29 AM

The third Sukhoi Superjet 100 landed in Italy for the first time on August 25 at Turin’s Caselle Airport, where it continued its flight-test campaign in preparation for expected year-end certification. The aircraft (prototype S/N 950004) took off from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft’s flight-test center in Zhukovsky, near Moscow.

Operated by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft test pilots Yablontsev Alexander, Korostiev Sergey, Shvetsov Oleg and Gryukanov Maksim, S/N 950004 underwent “several” tests, including noise community and high-intensity radiated field trials during its month-long stay in Italy.

SCAC scheduled testing to occur in Levaldigi Airport and at the Alenia Aeronautica facilities at Turin-Caselle Airport.

As part of the certification campaign, the company subjected the prototype to an evaluation of the electromagnetic compatibility requirements for civil aircraft, ensuring the aircraft’s ability to operate safely in the man-made electromagnetic environment.

As of the start of last month the four SSJ100 prototypes had accumulated more than 2,010 flying hours during 814 flights, accounting for about 70 percent of its ­certification requirements, including what Sukhoi characterized as the most critical tests. The SSJ100 has successfully passed a series of testing in extreme weather conditions in Yakutsk and Arkhangelsk, Russia and a high-elevation program in Gumri, Armenia. Those trials, according to SCAC, confirmed that the airplane needs no further changes to its basic configuration.

Of the 18 serial aircraft in various stages of production, six have reached the final assembly shop, said Sukhoi.

Sukhoi continues to target the end of this year for certification and first deliveries to Aeroflot, which holds an order for 30 of the 100-seat jets, and Armavia, which placed an order for two. Although it remains unclear how many firm orders the Superjet 100 has actually attracted, SCAC has announced over the years “commitments” and options covering more than 250 airplanes.

Most recently, Superjet International–the joint marketing venture between Italy’s Alenia and SCAC–announced at the Farnborough airshow that a Bermuda-based leasing company named Pearl Aircraft signed an agreement covering the sale of 30 Superjet 100s along with options on 15 more. Another 30-ship deal announced at the show involved Indonesian regional carrier Kartika Airlines, which signed a firm order for 30 aircraft in all, including 15 previously held on option.