MOSCOW, May 28. /TASS/. The first flight of Russia’s new medium-haul passenger plane MC-21-300 lasted for 30 minutes and was performed in a routine mode, the flight mission was fully performed, the press service of the plane’s manufacturer, Corporation Irkut, said on Sunday.
"The new passenger plane MC-21-300 has performed its first flight. The flight duration was 30 minutes. The plane flew at an altitude of 1,000 meters with a speed of 300 kilometers per hour," the press service said.
The plane was piloted by test pilots Oleg Kononenko and Roman Taskayev, both holding the honorary title of the Hero of Russia. "The flight mission was fully performed. The flight was conducted in a routine mode. No drawbacks that might hamper further tests have been exposed," the press service said.
"We have used the most advanced technical solutions, which will ensure better comfort for passengers and attractive economic characteristics for air companies. I am happy to say that the first flight of the MC-21 was successful," Irkut CEO Oleg Demchenko said.
Yuri Slyusar, CEO of the United Aircraft Corporation, said the global demand for MC-21 planes in the next 20 years is expected to be about 15,000 new aircraft.
In Russia’s new history, only one airliner, the regional Sukhoi Superjet 100, has been manufactured from scratch. The plane performed the first flight in 2008 and was made operational in 2011. The MC-21 has a flight range of 6,400 kilometers (3,977 miles), while the Sukhoi Superjet 100 can cover a distance of 4,578 kilometers (2,845 miles). The MC-21 will be able to carry 211 passengers, while the Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliner’s seating capacity is 108.
The current portfolio of orders for MC-21 is 285 airliners, 185 of which have been contracted on prepayment. The first client is Russia’s Aeroflot, which plans to have 50 MC-21 in its fleet. In April, the company’s director general, Vitaly Savelyev, said they expected first three airliners in 2019.