Deliveries of Russian MC-21 airliner delayed until 2025-2026

Yakovlev’s aircraft was scheduled to enter service in 2024, but Rostec CEO told Russian media that jet needs to complete tests

Russia’s most advanced commercial aircraft, Yakovlev MC-21 narrow-body jet, will delay its schedule by up to two years, state-owned Rostec acknowledged, according to the country’s media.

The MC-21 was scheduled to deliver the first units in 2024, but according to Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov, the 211-seat aircraft is only expected to enter service in 2025 or 2026.

The alleged reason involves testing the jet, which has not yet been completed. “We haven’t finished the tests yet,” Chemezov told Interfax. “We are still concerned about safety for us all…it is us who will actually fly these planes.”

The MC-21-310 and SSJ-100 jetliners (UAC)

Global project turned into domestic solution

With a size similar to the A321neo and the 737 MAX 9, the MC-21 was launched as a future global competitor and was therefore designed with Western components such as the Pratt & Whitney PW1400G engines.

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The invasion of Crimea and later Ukraine by Russia complicated the project as Western sanctions began to prevent technology from being passed on to the program.

The Russian government then had no alternative but to replace the parts with local equivalents. The turbofan, for example, became the PD-14, from Aviadvgatel.

The ‘Russified’ version MC-21-310 has been flying since December 2020 and was joined by the first prototype in October 2022, which had the Pratt & Whitney engines replaced by similar Russian ones.

MC-21 with Rossiya livery (Irkut)

The composite material wings were also supplied by a company in the country, but even with some advances, the project still seems far from mass production.

The first six MC-21s are expected to be delivered to Rossiya Airlines, which is part of the Aeroflot group. One of the test planes received the carrier’s livery in a marketing effort.

While waiting for the new aircraft and also the new version of the SuperJet, Russian airlines are expected to receive obsolete jets that are being reassembled such as the Tupolev Tu-214 and the Il-96.


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