Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company has produced the first VIP version of its new Superjet SSJ-100 airliner. The first example of the Sukhoi Business Jet was on display at last month’s MAKS airshow in Moscow. 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.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) last Thursday gained Russian certification of a long-range version of the Superjet 100 known as the SSJ100-95LR, following 115 hours of testing during 60 flights since February 15. Five percent more thrust generated by the airplane’s Powerjet SaM146 turbofans and strengthened wings increase the airplane’s range to 2,472 nm from 1,590 and maximum takeoff weight to 109,109 pounds from 101,150.
The launch customer for the $50 million Sukhoi Business Jet has decided not to complete the first two aircraft and could back out of its deal to buy the aircraft altogether. Just when the first SBJ will be placed into service is now uncertain as Sukhoi and Italian partner Alenia toil to make deliveries to airline clients after fitting the aircraft with numerous upgrades, including a revamped passenger cabin by the Italian design house Pininfarina.
Mexican airline Interjet is set to become the first Western operator of Sukhoi’s SuperJet SSJ100 during July. The first of 20 aircraft it has on order arrived from Russia in Interjet colors at last week’s Paris Air Show, before heading to the Venice, Italy, headquarters of the airframer’s SuperJet International joint venture with Alenia Aermacchi. There it will undergo final preparations for final delivery to Mexico, with a second SSJ100 due to follow just a few days behind it.
A ceremony scheduled for this morning in Le Bourget’s static park marks delivery of the first example of a Sukhoi SSJ100 built to operate in the Western world to Mexican airline Interjet. The airplane, marketed by SuperJet International–the Venice, Italy-based Western sales and worldwide support provider for the Sukhoi SSJ100–arrived here in Interjet colors on Saturday evening. It now occupies a prominent spot on the static display line, giving show goers a preview of what passengers will experience once service starts next month.
The newest version of the Sukhoi Superjet, SSJ100-95LR, first flown in February this year, has the suffix that is an abbreviation for Long Range, but some would argue that “Last Resort” might better describe the situation in terms of its significance to Russia’s aerospace industry.
The 1:20 scale model of a Sukhoi Superjet 100 at the jointly occupied SuperJet International-Powerjet stand at the RAA annual convention in Montreal sports the colors of Mexico’s Interjet for good reason: The Mexico City-based airline expects to take delivery of its first SSJ100 by the end of this month.
Indonesia’s Sky Aviation took delivery of its first Sukhoi Superjet 100, Sukhoi announced on February 27. Superjet S/N95022–the first of 12 SSJ100s ordered by Sky Aviation–flew to Jakarta Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport following interior installation and painting at the Aviastar plant in Ulianovsk, Russia.
Sky has sent the airplane to its base in Makassar, South Sulawesi, from where it planned to begin flying routes to Denpasar, Bali; Balikpapan, East Kalimantan; and Sorong, Papua, on March 10.
Citing design issues, on February 11 Russia’s Rosaviatsia aviation authority ordered Aeroflot to ground four of its 10 Superjet 100 airliners. Manufacturer Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. said the issues related to a service bulletin about aircraft slats and landing gear. On February 15, Sukhoi announced that all four aircraft had been cleared to resume operations.
As the first Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100 destined for Western launch customer Interjet of Mexico rolled out of its paint hangar in Venice, Italy, on February 11, industry observers digested a seemingly unprompted statement from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft’s Moscow headquarters summarizing design problems uncovered during the airplane’s 23 months of service history.