While the first prototype of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 continued its initial round of flight testing over Komsomolsk-upon-Amur in Russia’s Far East early last month, back in Moscow launch customer Aeroflot decided to lease 35 Boeing 737-500s to address delivery delays.
Economy of Russia
Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft flew the new Superjet 100 for the first time on May 19 from the company’s main assembly site in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The milestone came some six months after the company had originally hoped to stage the maiden voyage of the 95-seat regional jet, scheduled now for delivery to launch customer Aeroflot next spring.
A day before the opening of last month’s Moscow airshow, Sukhoi, Ilyushin and Boeing signed a series of agreements on the regional jet program proposed in mid-April during Boeing CEO Phil Condit’s visit to Moscow. Dubbed the “Russian Regional Jet” (RRJ), the program is aimed at building a prototype in 2004, certification in 2005 and service entry in 2006 or 2007.
For years, airshow crowds have been wowed by the superlative demonstrations of Russian fighters, but now visitors here at Le Bourget can sample the delights of flying such aircraft themselves. On the Sukhoi stand (Hall 4, Stand G15) a Su-35 flight simulator creates a realistic atmosphere not to be taken lightly by those prone to air sickness.
Appointing a Sukhoi man to the top position at RSK MiG is becoming a tradition. On November 4 the Russian government named Valery Toryanin, deputy general director at Sukhoi, as RSK MiG general director and general designer. Toryanin, 53, is a graduate of the Moscow Aviation Institute and joined Sukhoi after a 20-year military career in various agencies involved with military exports.
There are those in Russia who ask if the state’s plan to create a Unified Aircraft Corporation is a 21st century repeat of Stalin’s failed collectivization experiment of the late 1920s.
RusAero has become established as a leading source for civil aviation support services in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, handling or facilitating movements mainly from abroad.
Sukhoi would have loved to announce an RRJ launch order from Aeroflot last month out from under the shadow of intrigue that seems to hang over every Russian aerospace project. But as so often happens in Russia, internal conflicts have a way of rising to the surface at the most inopportune moments.
Moscow-based Kvand recently delivered its fourth Yak-42 executive upgrade cabin refurbishment. The work was done at the Saratov Aviation Plant in Saratov, Russia, in association with Aviatrading, using the Yakovlev Design Bureau. The interior layout divided the cabin into luxury executive/VIP and passenger sections with two galleys and two lavatories.
The center, which the company claims is the first in the country to be opened by a western rotorcraft maker, is located at Ostafievo Airport near Moscow. It is being run in partnership with Gazpromavia, the flight department of Russian energy group Gazprom, which is a Eurocopter operator.