MC-21 Airliner Receives First Russian-Built Engines to Replace Sanctioned US-Made Pratt & Whitneys

Russians never required US engines to build an airliner, they just opted for what foreign airlines were already used to

Surely a nation that can build a powerplant for a Su-35 can build one for a passenger jet

Editor’s note: Western sanctions temporarily set back the development of the Russian MC-21 airliner which was supposed to come with US-made engines and some western avionics. However, what sanctions-makers failed to appreciate was that Russians opted for American engines because that is what airlines abroad they would target were already used to, not because they could not develop their own. In fact, they had their own airliner engine already in the pipeline, and the first ones are now being delivered. Indeed, for a country that is able to manufacture high performance military jet engines, the rather more pedestrian civilian engines are not a huge challenge. Thus the sanctions simply mean the MC-21 will be almost wholly Russian-made.

It Has Happened!

No, not the Ukraine electing a certified clown as her President. But the delivery (in Russian) of a first couple of serial production PD-14 engines (first batch numbers 16 engines) to Irkut corp to be installed at the serial MC-21 commercial aircraft. This is huge and I cannot emphasize enough how huge it is. It is a state-of-the-art engine which is very competitive with Western analogues, getting pretty close in terms of bypass ratio, while being better in fuel economy. EASA is due to certify it this year, while in Russia it already received the certificate of type. This is a new era in modern Russian commercial aerospace and implications are gigantic. 

No, Boeing-Airbus duopoly will not get crushed immediately but the fact that Russia already has a line of very competitive aircraft, from SSJ-100 to MC-21, to upcoming Il-96 with PD-35 for own market and that of former USSR should give some people a pause when framing global commercial aviation mostly in terms of this duopoly as a constant. But, as we all know, everything changes, all the time.

  1. SI | Brasil no Mundo

    […] Agora o MC-21 está saindo quase que inteiramente russo, sem turbinas Pratt & Whitney. (Andrei Martyanov). Isso tem implicações para o duopólio Boeing-Airbus, ainda mais agora com a crise da Boeing. E […]

  2. Nassim7 says

    The problem is that Western airlines that buy this engine and plane will be no longer protected by the flight-slot cartel. Anyone can make lots of money out of flying passenger planes from LHR to JFK at the correct time of the day. The airline business is totally beholden to governments. It is free enterprise merely in name. In reality, it is as nationalised as can be. That is how British Airways (BOAC) broke Freddy Laker. It was all politics and backhanders.

  3. David Bedford says

    The Americans are painting themselves into the corner of the room, America first will sidestep to America last in the eyes of many

    1. Undecider says

      By design. Russia taking the lead facilitates the Communist takeover.

  4. CHUCKMAN says

    “Russians never required US engines to build an airliner, they just opted for what foreign airlines were already used to”


    God, Russia builds top quality rocket motors that the US buys.

    Putin should be pleased by this outcome. He’s a great advocate of import substitution.

    1. Canosin says

      more sanctions pleeeeeze ….. since Russia has been sanctioned, it is a blessing for Russia’s economy….. boosting technologies and substitute foreign products with local made…… and voila….. it’s cheaper and helps local businesses growth….

  5. Kostas LIAPIS says


  6. Nickita Chernovsky says

    Nation that can’t build a decent car, whose only passenger plane in production is mostly grounded due to maintenance issues and engine failures.
    Don’t put too much expectations on the MC21, yet another excuses wagon.

    1. Oleg Burcă says

      Are you driving an Ukrainian car already? 🙂

      1. Jxjx Ju says

        Try to drive american car on Autobahn,useless;)

      2. CHUCKMAN says

        Well said.

    2. Milos says

      I was born in socialist country and I am capable to compare western developed economies with former socialist(east European). Russia developed Sukhoi Superjet, which so far performed great (Brasilians did the same with Embraer). Not everything that is considered great comes from the West, especially not from US. That is why no one drives US car in Europe. Russians make great trucks (KAMAZ), tractors and also planes, especially military planes. Lately they are investing money in luxury cars (Aurus). They are producing planes for more than a century and they are doing that great (check US army and Navy pilots’ experiences). They are developing 4 engine planes with Chinese also.

  7. BillA says

    so when is certification in the EU expected?
    and 6 months after, what will be the monthly output of planes?
    just the RF and Iran will doubtless far exceed the RF production capability
    build those buggers

  8. JustPassingThrough says

    Everyday there is more news that boing, boing Boeing is topping itself (now its the Dreamliners that are in trouble). So we can look forward to RU and Airbus as chief suppliers.

  9. Séamus Ó Néill says

    Just shows the stupidity of sanctions…..Russia put the first satellite (Sputnik) in space , put the first man in Space (Yuri Gagarin) , have got highly developed hypersonic missiles , years , if not decades , in advance of the Americans…..why would they not make their own engines.

    1. Undecider says

      Sputnik, yes. Gagarin was a hoax. So, no on that one.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.