5 JUNE 2017
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Russia took another step toward competing with the Airbus A320 and Boeing B737 MAX in the twin-engine short- to medium-haul aircraft market last week with the first flight of the Irkut MC-21 following its roll-out last month (BTN 8 May).
The new jet, once known as the MS-21 but now with its official new name, took off for a 30min flight from the Irkutsk Aviation Plant and flew at a height of 1,000m and a speed of 300kph (186 mph).
The Russian government said after the flight production of the MC-21 will start in 2019. Irkut Corporation says it plans an initial production of 20 aircraft a year, increasing to 70 by 2023.
The aircraft can carry 132–211 passengers and as well as competing with the Airbus and Boeing models is intended to replace remaining Soviet-era aircraft such as the Yak-42, Tu-134 and Tu-154.
The MC-21 comes in two variants, the Dash-300 which flew last week and the smaller Dash-200. The first will seat 163 in a two-class layout or up to 211 in a single class. The shorter Dash-200 will have a two-class capacity of 132, or 165 for single class.
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