Russian jetliner SSJ-New to perform maiden flight in 2023

Irkut aircraft had a second prototype taken by an An-124 to a test center near Moscow

Irkut prepares the first flight of the SSJ-New regional jet for 2023 in hopes of starting series production of the aircraft by the end of next year.

The SSJ-New is an improved version of the SuperJet 100 (SSJ100), a commercial jet with around 100 seats. It is a project in which the Russians wanted to compete in the global commercial aviation market, but which failed due to the low availability of the aircraft, among other problems.

With the onset of economic sanctions on Russia since the invasion of Crimea in 2014, the state-owned UAC (United Aircraft Corporation), which controls the country’s main aeronautical manufacturers, decided to develop a variant with indigenous components.

The list of replacements includes everything from avionics to components such as the landing gear and even the PD-8 turbofan engine, in place of the PowerJet SaM146, a joint venture with France’s Safran.

The SSJ-New aerostructure was taken by an An-124 to the a test facility near Moscou (UAC)

The war in Ukraine, however, made the SSJ-New program even more necessary. That’s why UAC has been rushing to get the jet into production as soon as possible.

Last week, the second aircraft produced was loaded onto an An-124 freighter from Komsomolsk-on-Amur, in the Russian Far East, to Zhukovsky, near Moscow, where several dynamic assessments are carried out.

The structure will then be transferred to the TsAgi Institute, where it will carry out tests to prove the various changes received.

The first prototype, at the same time, continues to be finalized by Irkut at its facilities. In addition to the SSJ-New, Russia is developing the MC-21, for up to 211 passengers, which was also affected by the Western embargo.

SSJ100´s first flight in 2008 (Marina Lystseva/CC)
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