- June 16, 2011, 7:10 AM
United Aircraft, builder of the Sukhoi Superjet SJ100, is considering a corporate transport version of the regional jet, which would serve the niche between large business aircraft such as Gulfstream’s G550 and the Boeing BBJ. The proposal stems from inquiries about the potential for a business jet variant of the aircraft, scarcely three months after its service entry. United Aircraft chairman Mikhail Pogosyan said, “In the nearest future we will take a decision on the creation of the business jet version on the platform of the SJ100.” Additional fuel tanks in the cargo hold would boost range to 4,300 nm compared with the standard Superjet range of 1,620 nm. The Superjet employs technology used on few aircraft of that size such as fly-by-wire flight controls, and Category 3A landing performance is a program goal. Certification with EASA is ongoing and should be finished by year-end. The Superjet’s Snecma/NPO Saturn SaM146 engine has already earned EASA approval, which has given the program a head start. Sukhoi is expected to pursue FAA certification subsequently.