The first prototype of the new Russian airliner MC-21-300 fitted with Aviadvigatel PD-14 engines successfully finished its first flight test.

According to the Rostec press release, the flight took off from the Irkutsk aviation plant airstrip and lasted 1 hour 25 minutes on December 15, 2020.

“This flight is a joint result of two of the most important Russian civilian aviation programs – the MC-21 airplane and the PD-14 engine. Thanks to the efforts of the scientists, manufacturers, engineers and workers an airliner of the new generation is being created. It will return our country to the highest league of the world of aviation,”  Sergey Chemezov, the CEO of Rostec, is quoted in the press release. 

All earlier flights of the airplane, including its maiden flight in May 2017, were conducted with Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines. 

The Aviadvigatel PD-14 turbofan engine has been developed by Rostec, Russian state-owned corporation, since 2012. It is a further development of the PS-90, the engine that powered the majority of Soviet and Russian airliners, such as the Tu-204 and the Il-96, since the 80s and 90s. 

The PD-14 is being developed specifically for the MC-21. It has a bypass ratio of 8.5:1, can generate 14.0 tf (31,000 lbf) of thrust and is said to be 15% more efficient than its predecessor the PS-90. 

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The Irkutsk Aviation Plant has completed assembly of a new MC-21-300 aircraft fuselage. While the fuselage is the fifth already and three prototypes are already in flight testing, what is special about this particular prototype is the fact that it would be the first one equipped with a new type of engines. This time, the engine would be made in Russia.  
 

According to Russian minister of industry and trade Denis Manturov, half of the first 630 serial MC-21s are going to be equipped with PD-14s, with the rest being powered by PW1000Gs.

Flight testing of the PD-14 onboard Il-76LL flying laboratory began in 2015. 

The Irkut MC-21 is a new Russian narrow-body airliner set to compete with mainline aircraft like the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320. It is being developed by United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and is currently expected to enter service in 2021. 

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After a short-term suspension due to COVID-19 preventive measures, the flight test program for the Russian narrowbody aircraft Irkut MC-21-300 is underway again, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) announced on April 22, 2020.