Sukhoi Civil Aircraft flight crew in late November conducted the first two automatic Category IIIa landings in the Superjet 100. Flying Superjet prototype MSN95004 from the Zhukovsky airfield near Moscow, chief pilot Alexander Yablontsev and test pilot Vadim Shirokikh tested the airplane’s ability to land under Cat IIIa using differing wing configurations, said Sukhoi.
“These flights marked the beginning of the new series of the development and certification tests for expanding [the] operational conditions of the aircraft,” the company said in a statement. “This supplement will allow [operators] to perform automatic landings in low-visibility weather conditions [pilots may not apply controls] up to the moment when the aircraft starts to run along the runway.”
Meanwhile, early last month a Superjet 100 (MSN95010) in operation with Aeroflot Russian Airlines flew a round trip between Moscow and Oslo, marking the beginning of scheduled services to the airline’s first international destination. Aeroflot also planned to fly the aircraft to Budapest by the end of last year.
By December 5 Aeroflot had flown three SSJ100s, serving routes from Moscow to St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Astrakhan, Chelyabinsk, Kazan, Anapa, Perm and Minsk.
Aeroflot’s Sukhoi Superjet fleet has now accumulated more than 1,000 commercial flights. The 1,000th flight occurred on November 23 on services between Moscow and St. Petersburg. By the time MSN 95008 completed the milestone flight, Aeroflot’s three SSJ100s had flown nearly 1,600 hours.
The SSJ100’s other current Superjet operator–Armenian flag carrier Armavia–as of November 22 had flown its single SSJ100 1,300 hours during 528 revenue flights over a period of seven months. Armavia’s SSJ100 regularly performs flights from Yerevan to 31 airports in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Western and Southern Europe and the Middle East. The airplane’s highest daily utilization reached 16.5 flight hours, while the longest distance exceeded 2,150 nm on a route between Yerevan and Madrid.