The first Sukhoi Su-30SM two-seat multirole fighter performed its maiden flight on September 21, followed four days later by the second Su-30SM. Sukhoi test pilot Sergei Kostin and navigator Pavel Malovechko served as the crew on both occasions. Flight durations were two hours and one hour 40 minutes, respectively, and both flights were uneventful. Both missions originated from the aerodrome of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant (IAZ) in Western Siberia. IAZ is the main manufacturing site for Irkut.
The Vaso factory of Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. (UAC) is completing a pair of VIP-equipped Ilyushin Il-96 jets under a contract from the Russian government worth approximately $333 million. Both of the four-engined aircraft will be used by the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin and operated by the country’s Special Air Detachment.
The Navy has spent nearly a decade and $3.4 billion researching candidates for a new fleet of helicopters to transport the President and other government VIPs. Now, as the Navy starts the process anew as the VXX program, AgustaWestland announced that it will again enter the fray with its medium-lift three-engine AW101, this time partnered with Northrop Grumman.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Clear 4 Take Off is offering cockpit and cabin window restoration on location. “We can do it at our facility in Fort Lauderdale, but we have a road crew that will go on location anywhere in the U.S.,” Thomas Esposito, president, told AIN. The company can completely refurbish windows provided they are within manufacturer-specified tolerance.
The FAA is proposing an Airworthiness Directive for the Eurocopter AS332C, AS332L and AS332L1. It is based on reports of electro-valve power supply disruptions while the helicopter is on the ground. It causes the landing gear to retract and the helicopter nose to drop, resulting in damage to the forward section of the helicopter’s underside. The AD would require modifying the main landing-gear control panel 33G, connector 100G and wiring.
Airbus Corporate Jets expects to achieve double-digit sales of its ACJ aircraft in 2012 and is on course to deliver at least as many as the 10 jets it delivered in 2011. The European airframer told a September 26 press conference in Moscow that it has now sold more than 170 aircraft in the business aviation market, including some 110 A320-family narrowbodies and 60 widebodies (A330s, A340s and A380s).
Dassault is close to reaching agreement with Russia’s Avia Group to establish an authorized service center for its Falcon business jet series at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. The facility is set to open in 2013 and will be located near Avia’s new terminal building, which was inaugurated earlier this year.
The Russian market has continued to be a key factor in the recovery that Czech Republic-based ABS Jets has seen in the business aviation sector over the past 12 months. Russians own several of the 13 aircraft that the company has under management contracts, with their insurance companies and banks eager to have these assets in the hands of operators based in the European Union.
Hawker Beechcraft Corp (HBC) says that its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and a pending acquisition by China’s Superior Aviation are not affecting the attitudes of customers and potential customers towards its products, which it believes are ideally suited to the Russian market.
Cessna is hoping that recent sales breakthroughs in Russia with its Grand Caravan turboprop and Skylane 172 piston singles will prove to be a sound foundation for selling more of its Citation business jets there.