Russian Defense Exporter To Get First VIP Superjet

 - September 11, 2013, 1:10 PM
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company is close to completing the first example of the VIP version of its Superjet SSJ-100 airliner. The first of the new Sukhoi Business Jets will go to Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport. (Photo: Vladimir Karnozov)

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company has produced the first VIP version of its new Superjet SSJ-100 airliner. The aircraft, which was on display at last month’s MAKS airshow in Moscow, is not the final version of the manufacturer’s planned Sukhoi Business Jet (SBJ) but is instead a converted airliner. It is due to go to Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport by year-end. This aircraft is based on the standard SSJ-100 model but future SBJs will be based on the long-range version of the narrowbody.

The $50 million SBJs are expected to deliver a range of 4,250 nm carrying eight passengers. Typically, the interiors will be configured to seat between 13 and 38 passengers in a spacious cabin with 714 sq ft of floor area and 4,198 cu ft of volume.

Sukhoi now believes it can sell approximately 80 SBJ versions of the Superjet over the next 20 years, and plans to produce between four and six of these each year of total annual production of some 60 units. Western launch customer Comlux Aviation expects to take delivery of two SBJs in 2015 and company president Richard Gaona has told AIN that he has already lined up prospective management clients for these aircraft. However, the company, which has a completions center in Indianapolis, will not be producing the cabin interiors itself for these two aircraft.

The SBJ cabin interior on view at MAKS last month was in fact a mock-up produced by Moscow-based Aerostyle. The final interior for Rosoboronexport’s aircraft will be installed later this year. Aerostyle has brought together the expertise of other members of Russia’s Association of Aviation Interiors Companies. The group (called AKAI under its Russian acronym) has 17 member companies, which account for about 90 percent of completions work for Russian-made aircraft and collectively employ approximately 1,000 people. One member, Vemina-Aviaprestige, serves as the local Russian representative of Western suppliers Ipeco (seats) and B/E Aerospace (cabin interiors).

The Rosoboronexport aircraft features 19 passenger seats in a cabin divided between a VIP area and separate space for “club-four” and standard seating. The enclosed VIP area has a desk and a divan that can be converted into a full-size bed, as well as a separate bathroom. In fact, the customer has asked for some adjustments to the initial design. “We are going to adjust the cabin for a smaller number of travelers so as to provide more comfort for them,” said Sukhoi vice president for new projects Alexander Pimenov. Rosoboronexport also wants a full set of in-flight communications equipment in the SBJ and these will be added next year.