Irkut, manufacturer of the MC-21 commercial jet, is about to complete the aircraft’s certification and begin deliveries in 2022, but already plans to start developing another variant, capable of carrying up to 260 passengers.
Ravil Khakimov, general director of the company, part of the UAC group, told Izvestia newspaper that the MC-21-400 could be launched between 2024 and 2025.
Since the first information of the new family of commercial jets emerged, Russia has been aiming to launch three versions of the MC-21, the MC-21-300 (and its variant with PD-14 engines MC-21-310) for up to 211 passengers, the MC- 21-200, with up to 176 seats, and the MC-21-400.
According to Khakimov, “as soon as the MC-21-300 version starts flying on airlines, depending on demand, we will most likely take over the MC-21-400 project”, who also admitted to studying the launch of the MC-21-200 in the sequence as long as there are interested parties.
Bigger than A321
If the MC-21-300 is considered a direct competitor to the A320neo, the MC-21-400 will be larger than the A321neo, which can carry up to 244 passengers in a single class.
Studies for the entire MC-21 family have already been carried out and according to them, the MC-21-400 should be 46.7 meters long, thanks to the addition of two fuselage sections in front and behind the wings.
The Russian jet, however, has a lower range of 6,000 km in the MC-21-300 version, with a two-class configuration. On the other hand, the cabin of the Russian aircraft is 11 cm wider than the A320neo family.
UAC announced that the first mass-production MC-21s will be delivered to Rossiya Airlines next year.