First MC-21 test aircraft flies with PD-14 engines

Russian aircraft of registration 73051 had been equipped with PW1400G turbofans since it made its maiden flight in 2017

United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) conducted the first flight of the MC-21 registration 73051 equipped with Russian PD-14 engines.

The test aircraft was the first of the new jetliner to make its maiden flight in May 2017, but was originally configured with Pratt & Whitney’s PW1400G engines.

With economic sanctions from the West, Irkut began development of the MC-21-310 variant, which uses the PD-14 turbofan, produced by Aviadvigatel. A single prototype, registration number 73055, flew with the Russian engine, but the UAC intends to speed up the program and for that it converted prototype number 1.

The conversion and flight took place at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant, where some tests will be carried out before the MC-21 travels to Zhukovsky to follow the certification program.

The aircraft did not have the livery modified and still displays the designation of the version with PW engines (MC-21-300).

The MC-21 registration 73051 with the Aviadvigatel and Pratt & Whitney turbofans (UAC and Denis Fedorko)

Certification by the end of 2022

“The adhesion of the second aircraft to the PD-14 engine tests is an important milestone within the scope of the MC-21 project and one of the key steps of the import substitution program, because the turbofan is the true ‘heart’ of the aircraft, the that ensures the operation of the aircraft’s main systems,” celebrated Irkut Corporation General Manager Andrey Boginsky.

According to him, the goal is to complete the certification of the PD-14 engine by the end of 2022.

The MC-21-310, intermediate version, will be able to carry between 163 and 211 passengers, depending on the configuration. The UAC is expected to develop the MC-21-400 models, with the largest capacity, and the MC-21-200, the smallest of the three.

Russia aims to put the MC-21 into service in 2024, which has guaranteed orders from major Russian airlines such as Aeroflot, which recently placed an order for 210 aircraft.