This week’s Farnborough airshow will provide the closest look yet at what Irkut Corp. plans to deliver when it completes development of its MC-21 airliner family. The Russian company has had an almost full-scale mockup of the single-aisle transport produced in the U.S. and it will unveil it here today.
Ak Bars Aero of Bugulma, Tatarstan, officially became the fourth Russian company to launch operations with Bombardier CRJ regional jets when it began operating a used CRJ200LR under a lease agreement with a third party on April 14. Ak Bars Aero’s CRJ200LR flew its first scheduled service from Begishevo Airport, Naberezhnye Chelny, to Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow.
Best known as a producer of the Sukhoi Su-30MK series of heavy fighters, Russia’s Irkut Corp. is looking to the commercial sector to provide the backbone of its future. The MC-21 airliner project is now in development and Irkut recently selected a series of Western systems suppliers as it moves toward a projected first flight date in 2014.
Recently installed chief of staff of the Indonesian air force vice marshal Imam Safaat outlined a modernization plan for the service’s pilot training while speaking at the ceremony in which he took over from Marshal Subandrio. The Indonesian air force has operated some 20 Hawk Mk 53s and eight OV-10 Broncos for approximately 30 years, and to upgrade the training program they need to be replaced.
Appearing for the first time outside China, the L-15 Falcon is at Dubai to promote its capabilities here in a region that offers significant market potential for advanced trainers. At the same time, the resurgent AVIC organization is highlighting its ability to provide total training solutions for modern air arms.
Irkut Corporation is evaluating tenders from Western engine, avionics and systems suppliers for its proposed new MC-21 family of narrowbody airliners. The Russian airframer (Hall 4 Stand C114) wants the first of the new model to enter service in 2016, and it intends to offer variants with capacity of 150, 180 and 210 seats.
Boasting an order book amounting to $4.6 billion, Russia’s Irkut Corporation reported here at Farnborough profits of $165 million on revenues that exceeded $1.3 billion last year. The total is three times more than the net profit it registered in 2006, according to Oleg Demchenko, president of the Irkut Corporation. He also announced that Irkut held a 15 percent share of Russia’s arms exports in 2007.
Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) president Alexey Fedorov yesterday gave details of his plans here for expanding the company’s civil business from 10 percent to 20 percent in 2015, and then to 50 percent in 2025. The MS-21, a 150- to 210-seater, should prove instrumental.
Currently, 30 dedicated Russian business aviation companies operate about 50 business jets, mostly converted Tupolev Tu-134s, Yakovlev Yak-40s and Yak-42s and Antonov An-74s. The Russian fleet of VIP-configured jets, some of which are in service with airlines, includes between 70 and 80 aircraft.
The Moscow Aerospace Salon, MAKS 2003, held in mid-August at the Gromov Flight Test Institute in Zhukovsky, attracted a dozen business jets and saw for the first time ever in Russia participation by U.S. Air Force aircraft (a B-52, F-15C/Es, F-16s, C-130 and KC-135) and daily flying by Italian and French display teams.