For more than a year now the Sukhoi Superjet 100 has been carrying passengers with Indonesia’s PT Sky Aviation and Laos’ Lao Central Airlines. In December the Indonesians accepted their third aircraft and seem happy with the Russian 100-seat twinjet. The second airplane for Lao was ready by mid-summer and even made a public appearance at the MAKS 2013 air show in Moscow, but the aircraft has not yet been delivered to the customer.
A new full flight simulator for training on the Sukhoi SSJ100 arrived for installation at the SuperJet International (SJI) Training Center in Venice, Italy, early last month. SuperJet International said it expected installation of the L-3 Communications-made simulator to take 30 days, after which it will undergo an “extensive” phase of on-site testing. The company will then apply for final approval of the EASA STD (synthetic training device) evaluation team, allowing for the start of training, potentially this month.
Armenian airline Armavia is set to resume operations with Sukhoi’s Superjet 100 after the first full production example of the new narrowbody (S/N 95007) left Zhukovsky airfield near Moscow to be delivered to the carrier’s headquarters at Yerevan’s Zvatnots Airport on October 2.
Armavia’s first Superjet SSJ100 sat idle at Sukhoi Civil Aircraft’s maintenance and training center at the Ramenskoye Aerodrome in Zhukovsky near Moscow last month, as the manufacturer and the Armenian flag carrier remained locked in a financial dispute. A second SSJ100 originally scheduled for delivery to Armavia in June also remained in Zhukovsky, leaving Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) in the unwelcome position of storage facilitator while it urged the airline to settle arrangements to resume operation of at least the original airplane.
Two months after suffering a fatal accident involving a demonstration airplane once used for air show appearances, Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ) program partners Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) and SuperJet International (SJI) are hoping to dampen further speculation about the disaster, at least for this week. Helping it with this will be an Aeroflot SSJ in the static display, and a possible follow-on order from Mexico’s Interjet.
While the May 9 crash of a Superjet 100 during a demonstration flight in Indonesia most importantly took a human toll, it also might have dealt a serious blow to the aspirations of the Russian civil aircraft industry to compete with Western manufacturers in the global market.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted type approval in late January to Franco-Russian engine maker PowerJet for a more powerful version of the SaM146 turbofan. Designated the SaM146 1S18, the engine offers 16,100 pounds of takeoff thrust, compared with the 1S17’s 15,400 pounds, thereby increasing the Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 LR’s mtow and extending its range to 2,470 nm with a full passenger load.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a type certificate for the Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 on February 3, paving the way for the Russian jet’s operation by airlines in Western Europe and in countries that use EASA regulations as their reference standard.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft flight crew in late November conducted the first two automatic Category IIIa landings in the Superjet 100. Flying Superjet prototype MSN95004 from the Zhukovsky airfield near Moscow, chief pilot Alexander Yablontsev and test pilot Vadim Shirokikh tested the airplane’s ability to land under Cat IIIa using differing wing configurations, said Sukhoi.
The new Western European launch customer for the Sukhoi SuperJet 100, Italy’s Blue Panorama Airlines, expects to convert its Paris Air Show memorandum of understanding covering 12 SSJ100s into an order for eight aircraft (plus options on four) next month, once it has reached an agreement with SaM146 engine supplier PowerJet, a Snecma/NPO Saturn Franco-Russian joint venture.
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