DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky
June 15, 2024
Care to share?

One of the highlights of the MAKS Air Show in Moscow is the positive news regarding the Irkut MC-21, an all new irkuttechnology narrow body aircraft to be powered by the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan for Western markets. The first PW1400G engine has already been delivered to Irkut, and the aircraft is reaching design maturity in preparation for its first flight scheduled for April 2016.

The MC-21 will also be offered with Aviadvigatel PD-14 engines, scheduled to enter service after the PW1400G.

Reports from MAKS indicate that the MC-21 will meet its initial weight goals, and that the design is now firm. Of particular interest in this design is the wing, which will be constructed from low-temperature “out of autoclave” composite materials.   Developed by a team from Irkut, AeroComposites, Diamond Aircraft and FACC, the new wing will be an industry leader in technology.

With the weight of the aircraft under control, and the performance of the PW1400G engines now well understood from prior programs, Irkut is confident of the efficiency and performance of the new aircraft, which will be better than competing re-engined programs from Airbus and Boeing. Irkut will introduce the 180 seat MC-21-300 as its initial model, followed by the 150 seat MC-21-200. An earlier planned 220 seat -400 model has been shelved for the time being.

Of course, the political situation in the Ukraine weighs heavily on Russia’s international relations, and with a multitude of Western suppliers, political pressure within Russia is mounting to utilize Russian suppliers.  The decline in the ruble boost this requirement. Technodynamics and KRET are apparently interested in joining the program, but will need to meet the standards for Western certification to participate. While these companies have strong technology and extensive military experience, their commercial expertise and familiarity with Western certification processes may hold them back.

Nonetheless, the performance of the MC-21 appears to be outstanding. Fuel economy with the PW1400G could be better than the A320neo and 737MAX family, and pricing of the aircraft should be favorable (here the weak ruble helps).  The question now is whether Western airlines are willing to utilize an efficient new Russian-built airliner. If they pay attention to the bottom line, chances are good that they will.

12 thoughts on “MC-21 – A Hot Plane Impeded by Cold War Politics?

  1. Aviation Doctor - Helping aviation companies to transform the present into a more profitable tomorrow says:

    The risk is that more sanctions will be aimed at Russia, this time the aerospace sector. The country has occupied parts of another country (Ukraine’s Crimea) and NATO is on high alert, with rapid deployment troops and now F-22s to be forwarded to Eastern Europe. I want to see sanctions and there should be sanctions, it is shameful when possible conflict with Russia is high, corporations are doing business with them.

  2. It may be appropriate to note that Crimea was and has been for centuries Russian, until Khrushchev “awarded” it to Ukraine for administrative simplicity, since it was part of the Soviet Union, one nation then. Enormous Russian wealth and blood was spilled to defend Crimea during the Second World War. During the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia was too weak to insist that it get Crimea back, and it did not realize that Ukraine (along with other states bordering Russia) could be lost to NATO, whose sole reason for existence is for war with Russia. After all, the West did promise that NATO will not be pushed to Russia’s borders. Russia did try hard to be a partner of the West, especially by not vetoing on crucial American issues such as Iraq and Iran in the Security Council. Continuing sanctions is an excellent way to renew the Cold War, which is not a win-win strategy for anyone, including the West. It is certainly not going to make Russia, which lost 20 million during the Second World War and endure utter devastation, “Cry Uncle”. The wasted resources (tens of trillions of dollars spent preparing for total war) can be put to better use in both the West and Russia. An excellent example is Irkut MC-21, which incidentally will be the only airliner to have active side sticks, a much-needed innovation that would benefit Airbus and other aircraft.

  3. Aviation Doctor - Helping aviation companies to transform the present into a more profitable tomorrow says:

    We cannot allow Russia to annex territory as it pleases, and wage war on small countries like Georgia, because it supported separatists in Abkazia and South Ossetia that declared self-independence from tiny Georgia with Russian help, today Russian troops (5,000+) are stationed there. In Transnitria same thing, Russian speakers declare self independence from Moldova, and Russia send in troops, now 1,500 are there. It is a pattern the west needs to react to, who is next ? any country that has a sizable Russian population (e.g. Estonia, Latvia). We need tough sanctions on Russia, especially Aerospace, how can western companies do business with the Russians when they defy international norms, again ! We put up with it in the Cold War, now again they seek domination of all Russian speaking areas, and NATO will have to act, and then ? I want to see FULL sanctions on the Russian Aerospace industry, so those western suppliers, better understand the risk, because Putin is not backing down and we won’t either, the world has to wake up to the Russian menace-again ! problem is they are not taught their own history, the evil they inflicted on Eastern European countries through occupation and their own 20+ million dead in Russian gulags.

  4. Until the MK-21 is actually in the air and tested its all hot air. We have yet to see anyone get it there on time and only Airbus managed to get the A350 certified without major issues.

    And that ignores the support side. Yes the aircraft may be low cost, but can you get the parts for it when you need them.

    Russian has an abysmal track record in that regard and this is an all new enterprise.

    high maint costs and lack of dispatch reliability are not going to cut it with anyone other than a captive audience.

  5. Lets not forget the feeding of the Nazi monster with the all the resources they demanded as well as stabbing Poland in the back with those same Nazis (not to mention the tank warfare school they shared that enabled the Nazis to hone the Panzer corps)

    The Russian people suffered for that, but the wound was self inflicted by the leadership.

    I don’t say that Russian did not have a huge reason with the West, the Post WWI battles (and support by the US, UK and Japan) to defend a despotic regime resonate down through the ages.

    That said, what we did with Japan and Germany after the war should also be taken into account not what was in the past.

    Vietnam has been amazingly stellar example of the many hundreds of thousand we killed they have gotten on with things and many of those same US servicemen have returned and done what they could for those who are there now.

  6. Any similar sentiments re our own nation? Say Iraq? Iran? Or is it just wrong only when Russia does it? No one is clean. We cannot look for “angels.” Everyone acts in their own self-interest. The issue here is what are the benefits and drawbacks of continued confrontation? It is a lose-lose situation for everybody. Ready to waste a few more tens of trillions on armament? Let us go on then. We don’t need them for domestic tranquility.

  7. Who are you? Somebody is asking you what is allowed or not? Did you call for sanctions when USA started aggresion on Libya or Iraq for example? No? Why? And you even do not know anything about reality in Crimea and Georgia. Sit at home and do not speak, doctor!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.