Superjet International today announced the official opening of its new North American sales and customer support office in Washington, D.C. Former ATR North America executive John Buckley has joined Superjet International to run the new office. Buckley assumes the title of vice president for business development, while Patrick Sullivan takes the role of head of customer service for the Americas.
The second of four planned Sukhoi SSJ100 prototypes–S/N 95003–took to the skies on December 24, joining the flight-test program started in May with the first flight of S/N 95001. The aircraft took off from the factory runway and safely landed after a two-hour, 30-minute flight that reached an altitude of 20,000 feet. Piloted by Sukhoi test pilot Capt.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) identified its first potential customer in Southeast Asia last month when it announced an agreement with Indonesia’s Kartika Airlines covering a firm order for 15 Sukhoi Superjet 100s and options on another 15. The SSJ100/95Bs under consideration would carry either 98 passengers in a single-class configuration or 86 passengers in a dual-class configuration.
India agreed to buy 80 Mil Mi-17V-5 helicopters worth $1.2 billion during a visit to Delhi by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev early this month. These will replace 35-year old Mi-8 choppers the Indian Air Force currently flies. The deal includes weapons options and an offset obligation worth $405 million. Accompanying Medvedev were Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdukov and United Aircraft Corp. chief Alexei Fedorov.
The first flying prototype of the Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ) 100 regional jet, the second airframe built, was handed over to Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee Register for certification flying in late October. Four aircraft will participate in the program, and six in general flight testing.
European helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland and Russian conglomerate Oboronprom last month signed an agreement for a civil AW139 final assembly line near Moscow, less than six months after announcing the project’s outlines.
In some respects Russia’s development has followed a pattern familiar to Westerners, but that is not true for its business aviation industry. While Russian billionaires show off their huge yachts in the most expensive and trendy places in the world, buy A380s for personal use, haunt French ski resorts and buy islands off Dubai, some of the nation’s laws prevent wealthy individuals from reaping the benefits of business aircraft.
AVPK Sukhoi’s ambition to use U.S.-built avionics on the Russian Regional Jet appear dashed due to an apparent lack of interest on the part of both Honeywell and Rockwell Collins. Honeywell, developer of the Primus Epic avionics software implicated in the certification delay of the Embraer 170, simply failed to respond to Sukhoi’s request for proposals, according to the Russian company.
At best, a total of 300 to 400 supersonic business jets (SSBJs) could be sold over the next 30 years, according to Andrei Ilyin, general director at Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. “The market is too small for competition,” he said.
Dassault is working quietly on the design for what could become a supersonic business jet (SSBJ). In June the French aircraft manufacturer announced the creation of a “common working group” with Sukhoi to study such an aircraft.