MC-21 jetliner prototype is swapping Western engines for Russian PD-14 turbofan

Irkut aims to accelerate the certification program for the MC-21-310 variant, which uses components developed by Russian industry

The MC-21-310 jetliner has just completed its 100th flight, an important milestone for the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the giant that controls most Russian aerospace manufacturers.

The Irkut MC-21 is the most advanced commercial aircraft ever developed in Russia, with a size similar to an Airbus A321, and technological aspects such as wings made of composite material.

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However, the program has suffered a major setback since Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, and more recently the war in Ukraine itself. The MC-21 was designed as a global aircraft, using several Western components, including the PW1400 engines, supplied by Pratt&Whitney.

In the face of ever-deepening economic sanctions, UAC decided to develop a variant of the MC-21 built with indigenous solutions, the MC-21-310, which first flew in December 2020.

The aircraft (registration 73055) is equipped with the PD-14 turbofan, designed and built by United Engine Corporation (UEC-Aviadvigatel) as an alternative to the PW1400.

The first MC-21 test aircraft will receive PD-14 turbofans (UAC)

Currently, Russia intends to accelerate the MC-21-310 certification program by modifying the first prototype (73051) to replace the PW engines with the PD-14 turbofan, of which the UEC has so far supplied five units.

“About 240 flights are foreseen in the certification program, designed for two aircraft. The 100th flight of the MC-21 plane with a PD-14 engine was successful and the certification program is proceeding according to plan,” said Vladimir Artyakov, first deputy general director of Rostec.

“I am sure that the MC-21 will become a worthy replacement for foreign aircraft and that both airlines and pilots, as well as passengers, will appreciate the aircraft.”

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