Russian airline Azimuth will receive a new Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger aircraft powered with two “second category” engines, according to Russian media.
It will be the first time in the history of the Russian aviation industry that an airline will receive a new SSJ100 regional aircraft, also known as Sukhoi Superjet, with used engines. The decision to equip the jet with used parts is due to the ongoing shortage of spare aircraft parts in Russia.
Speaking to Kommersant on November 23, 2022, an undisclosed industry source said that the single SSJ100 was supposed to be delivered to Azimuth earlier this year, but the plane is now likely to join the air carrier before the end of 2022. According to Kommersant, Rostec, the parent company of United Aircraft Corporation which owns Sukhoi, confirmed the report.
The engines for the aircraft were taken from an aircraft component pool, a source from the Federal Air Transport Agency of Russia (Rosaviatsiya) confirmed to Kommersant.
The Russian transport agency had to come up with a solution for drawing up the airworthiness documentation for the aircraft, resulting in a slight delay of the delivery, Kommersant reported.
The SSJ100 is supposed to be Azimuth’s only new jet with old engines. However, up to 10 more aircraft of the type featuring used engines could be delivered to other customer airlines in 2023.
In response to Kommersant’s enquiry, Rostec said that the engines installed on the Azimuth plane are “in excellent condition”. The state corporation said the use of ‘second-hand’ engines will not have an impact on airline’s operations or flight safety as they “are reliable”.
Replacement is not certified yet
The SSJ100 is powered by the SaM146 turbofan engine produced by the PowerJet, a joint venture between France-based aerospace manufacturer Snecma and Russia-based engine developer NPO Saturn.
However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Western countries imposed international sanctions on PowerJet, leading to the production of engines used to power the SSJ100 to be suspended, forcing aircraft manufacturer UAC to find a locally produced replacement.
The PD-8 high-bypass turbofan, which is based on the larger PD-14 variant developed by Rostec’s subsidiary United Engine Corporation (UEC), seemed to be the best option to replace the SaM146 engine.
However, Rostec expects to certify the PD-8 in 2023 and start deliveries in 2024.