Russia Flies First New Post-Soviet Passenger Airliner With Domestic Engines

A sanctions-proof airliner

A good candidate to be exported to similarly sanctions-afflicted Iran

Russia flew a new passenger airliner with domestically-built engines for the first time since the Soviet era on Tuesday, the start of what it hopes will be a revival of a civil aviation industry to challenge Boeing and Airbus.

The medium-range MC-21 plane took off from a Siberian airfield powered by Russian-built PD-14 turbo-fan engines. The plane first flew in May, 2017, but with U.S.-made engines.

The MC-21 is built by Irkut Corporation, part of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), and the engines are built by United Engine Corporation, all of which are majority owned by Rostec, Russia’s state aerospace and defence conglomerate.

UAC said the plane carried out a range of flight tests in a maiden voyage that lasted one hour and 25 minutes.

The Soviet Union was a major builder of passenger airliners used widely at home and in allied countries. But after the fall of communism, airlines largely retired their fleets of Tupolevs and Ilyushins for Boeings and Airbuses.

The Kremlin has been pushing to make Russia less reliant on Western imports, particularly since 2014, when the United States and EU imposed some financial sanctions in response to Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

Moscow had planned to begin delivering the MC-21 to buyers in 2019, but that date was pushed back, with Rostec saying U.S. sanctions had forced manufacturers to replace composite materials in the wings with Russian-made equivalents. The first deliveries are now expected at the end of next year.

Two modifications of the plane, which can seat 130 to 211 passengers, will be made available for order – one with U.S. Pratt & Whitney PW1400G-JM engines and the other with the PD-14 engines, UAC said.

Orders have been placed for 175 of the aircraft, with state carrier Aeroflot accounting for 50, UAC said. It did not say how many would include the Russian-built engines.

Source: Reuters

The MC-21 program already has flown four MC-21-300 prototypes equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW1400G turbofans and now hopes to gain certification for the Western engine-powered version by the end of 2021.

The PD-14-powered MC-21-310 emerged as a reaction to the threat of tightening economic sanctions by the U.S. that might limit the amount of Western content in the new narrowbody.

UAC has since offered the PD-14 to power China’s Comac C919 to address U.S. sanctions against that country.

Source: Aviation International News

State technology firm Rostec’s general director, Sergei Chemezov, adds that the occasion marks the “unification” of two major Russian civil aviation programmes, the MC-21 and PD-14.

The MC-21 had previously only flown with the rival Pratt & Whitney PW1400G engine. This variant of the twinjet is desginated the -300.

Chemezov says the MC-21 will “returns our country to the top league of world aviation”.

United Engine Corporation’s Aviadvigatel managing director, Alexander Inozemtsev, says the development of the PD-14 is a “breakthrough” for Russian powerplant manufacturing.

“For the first time in many years, a new, entirely-Russian engine has appeared,” he says.

Federal air transport regulator Rosaviatsia certified the PD-14 in 2018. The engine has a take-off thrust of 30,800lb (137kN) and a fan diameter of 1.9m.

Aviadvigatel says the specific fuel consumption of the engine is 10-15% lower than that of previous-generation engines, owing to the use of innovative technology and materials.

Source: Flight Global

  1. StopIsraeliGenocideInPalestine says

    I remember the time when flying was very expensive until Aeroflot arrived in the market! Go Russia go.

  2. Doctor Goldstein says


  3. Julie Bronson says

    LOOK how ridiculously FAR FORWARD of the wing these engines are!! They are ALL like that NOW thanks to the MANDELA EFFECT. I used to work on machines at ATA and SAW them in the hangar. You can still find engines under the wing in SOME video game simulations like Playstations JUST CAUSE and others. This is how they WERE! Mandela Effect is very Very VERY REAL!!

  4. cechas vodobenikov says

    Boeing nearly bankrupt; likely the Asian market will abandon US planes
    now oil 50+$ per barrel; Russia provided Syria 475 tonnes humanitarian to Syria today—US sends bombs

  5. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

    Congratulations to Russia. Russia is once again playing with the big boys. That didn’t take long, did it?

      1. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

        Hah. Wow. Well, there’s an old American joke – probably from the northeast – “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.” However, I went to a hockey game and a submarine broke out?

        Strange days indeed
        Most peculiar Mama

        ~ John Lennon {1984}

        1. Иван says

          Haven’t heard that one. Sounds Canadian but than again, I’m from Confederate States of America. Southern Tang is a little different and hockey here is … well, not popular.

          1. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

            Oh…. You’re southern, too? I’ll be darn. I was born and raised in a small town in south Texas west of Victoria about 40 miles, not far from where La Salle got lost in the brush in 1684. I’ve lived in Dallas for almost 40 years, though, but I still have land and family down there – good fishing and bird hunting. That’s ranching country, though.

            As for the hockey quote, someone attributed it to Rodney Daingerfield and that’s his style. However, it just sounds like a quote from from the 1920s or ’30s.

            1. Иван says

              Texas is super Southern. Always wanted to visit but never ventured that far south-west. I call VA as home.

            2. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

              Southern geographically? No doubt. Culturally, it’s mixed. West of the Balcones Fault is western and southwestern. Austin across to Houston and south to the border is a western/southern hybrid. That’s the region I’m from. North and northeast of Houston and Austin is also a southern/western hybrid but more southern than western. Geography dictates.

              Yes, I have a confederate ancestor who was a well off German farmer in Washington County. Surprise. I also have Czech and Russian ancestors and that makes me a rather rare bird in Texas.

            3. Иван says

              Yeah I hear Texas is predominantly of Germanic ancestry but it was originally Mexican territory and Mexicans implicitly consider it theirs. So I imagine there is a substantial Mexican population in Texas. Florida was surprising for me. Folks just came up to us and spoke Spanish. I understand some but not the rapid gunfire Spanish. Czech is a great language.

            4. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

              Hispanic? Yes. Maybe 30 percent? Where I was born and raised, I had anglo, hispanic, and black friends. Many of the hispanic families had been in Texas since the 1820s. Some black families had been there since the 1850s. There was significant German immigration to Texas but most of it came after the civil war. Anglo ethnicities in Texas are, from most common on down – Irish, English, Scottish, German, Czech. My earliest German ancestor was in Texas in 1850. My Russian great grandfather and his wife came in 1893 and my Czech ancestors came in 1910, just in time to not get killed as an Austrian peasant war sacrifice.

      2. thomas malthaus says

        My show stopper would be five undetected Russian subs coincidently surfacing, respectively, off the coasts of Bremerton, Washington; Norfolk, Virginia; San Diego, Calif; Mayport, Florida; and Kings Bay Georgia.

        Simultaneously, Russian President Vladimir Putin and President ???? would be discussing a myriad of issues via the hotline when Mr. Putin bluntly states, “Lets talk peace.”

        благодарю вас

    1. StopIsraeliGenocideInPalestine says

      Not only that – the British WebOne is using Russian rockets to compete with Zionist Elon Musk’s SpaceLink. Russia has excellent and educated human beings. Go Russia go! Congratulations and love.

  6. thomas malthaus says

    Russia will likely put the plane through significant safety tests as the specter of the Boeing 737-MAX failure looms large.

  7. Mychal Arnold says

    What military intervention?

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