The first serial production Irkut MC-21, the latest airliner from Russia, has completed its maiden flight.
The aircraft is the first of the type to feature domestically made composite wings and engines.
The flight occurred on December 25, 2021, in the Irkutsk Northwest airport. It went smoothly, and the aircraft performed as expected, state conglomerate Rostec, which owns United Aircraft Corporation – the parent company of Irkut – announced.
“The first flight of the aircraft with the wing made of Russian composites proves: we did everything right, the MC-21 program is consistently and steadily moving forward, despite the sanctions and the unfair competition,” Denis Manturov, Russian minister of industry and trade, is quoted in Rostec press release.
The first prototype of the MC-21 completed its maiden flight in 2017. In December 2020 it flew with Russian-made Aviadvigatel PD-14 engines that replaced Pratt & Whitney PW1000G turbofans initially planned for the model.
The assembly of the first MC-21 with domestically-produced wings began in early 2021. The wings were fitted in July of the same year.
According to Rostec, the MC-21 is nearing the end of the certification process. After testing, the first serial production aircraft is going to fly with Rossiya, a subsidiary of Aeroflot. The delivery is scheduled to September 2022.
Irkut MC-21 is a narrow-body airliner under development at UAC, similar to the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo. It is geared towards the Russian domestic market, with the country’s airlines ordering over 150 aircraft.