Russia’s Latest Airliner Rolled Out – Irkut MC-21
After heavy delays and silence in recent months, Russia’s Irkut Corporation has finally rolled out its sleek new airliner at its factory in Irkutsk, Siberia.
The MC-21-300 is a modern twin-engine jet airliner capable of carrying up to 180 passengers. It is designed to cater for the gap left by the Tupolev Tu-154 which has been a Russian workhorse for many years but has now been retired by most carriers.
The MC-21 will also come in a -200 variant, which can carry 150 passenger.
Not dissimilar to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families, Irkut hopes to enter a popular global market and has already attracted orders for 175 aircraft, with 100 options. Russian national carrier Aeroflot placed an order for 50 examples, in a majour coup for the manufacturer.
The MC-21 is available with either Aviadvigatel PD-14 or Pratt & Whitney’s PW1400G engines. Its cabin is wider than the A320, and the construction makes use of composites to keep its weight down.
It is hoped a first flight can be achieved before the end of 2016. The first four aircraft will be delivered to Aeroflot in 2018.
Other carriers to have ordered the MC-21 so far include Red Wings, Nordwind Airlines, UTAir, Cairo Aviation and Azerbaijan Airlines.