Representatives from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have completed the first flight session of the MC-21-300 certification program, Russia’s Irkut confirmed Wednesday. During the tests, experts evaluated the behavior of the MC-21 in various operational modes, including high angles of attack and stalls. Flight durations ranged from 2.5 to 4 hours and the aircraft flew at altitudes from 10,000 to 32,000 feet.
While an EASA test pilot flew the aircraft, another test pilot, from the Yakovlev Design Bureau, monitored the performance of flight modes. Flight crew also included Russian and EASA flight test engineers to analyze flight parameters. Last September EASA test crews completed a special course in theoretical and practical training to prepare them for flying the MC-21.
As of late last month, two MC-21 prototypes had performed 122 test sorties. Irkut parent United Aircraft expects to finish certification trials in the second half of 2020, enabling first delivery to Aeroflot by the end of that year. Schedules call for first flight of the third prototype to take place imminently, while engineers ready the fourth to join the program in the second quarter of this year. Another specimen for fatigue testing is under assembly, in addition to one already undergoing structural tests at TsAGI. Vendors have begun shipping components for the first production airplane.