Formerly known as Irkut’s SSJ-New, the now renamed SJ-100 regional jet from Yakovlev completed its maiden flight on Tuesday.
The aircraft took off from Komsomolsk-on-Amur airport, in the far east of Russia, and confirmed the operation of the new domestic systems incorporated into the commercial jet that was originally designed by Sukhoi, said the Russian group United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) – a state-owned conglomerate controlled by Rostec.
According to the UAC, the SJ-100 prototype performed a 54-minute flight and reached an altitude of 3,000 meters and a speed of 343 km/h.
The company says that the flight focused on checking the stability and control of the plane in the air, the automatic cabin pressurization system and the procedures for approaching the aerodrome and landing.
The SJ-100 is Russia’s attempt to create a new passenger jet with greater domestic content, unlike the first version of the aircraft that depended on imported items.
UAC says about 40 systems supplied by Western companies have been replaced on the plane with locally produced equivalents.
SuperJet’s “Russification” program was started in 2019 and intensified in 2022 after the country’s invasion of Ukraine, when trade sanctions were extended.
“This is the best demonstration of the technological independence of our country. We proved, first of all to ourselves, that we can develop and produce modern civil aircraft on our own, without using imported technologies. The next ambitious task is to certify the aircraft in a completely Russian look and start serial deliveries to the airline,” celebrated Yury Slyusar, general director of the United Aircraft Corporation.
This aircraft has become the embodiment of the advanced developments of the domestic aviation industry, taking into account the experience in the development, certification and operation of more than 200 Superjet aircraft over the past years. From the start of the preliminary design to the first flight, 4 years have passed. The same amount of time, for example, was spent on the creation of the A320neo, and on the Boeing 737max even more,” said Andrey Boginsky, general director of the Yakovlev.
Despite progress on the SJ-100’s maiden flight, the plane is still not entirely free of Western equipment. To accelerate the development of the project, the test program was started with an aircraft equipped with SaM146 engines, developed by the French company Safran in partnership with NPO Saturn and which equipped the original SSJ100.
The definitive version of the aircraft will be equipped with the Russian PD-8 turbofan, which is currently undergoing evaluations in the air laboratory mounted on the platform of an Il-76 freighter. The UAC says that domestically manufactured thrusters will be installed on the second prototype of the jet and that it will fly “soon”.