An interesting article by Jon Ostrower in Flight Global predicts a North American order for the Sukhoi Superjet with a fresh letter of intent from a leasing company for 65 aircraft to be announced at Farnborough.

With a 25% program ownership by Italy’s Alenia, and a 51%/49% Alenia ownership in the marketing and support venture, there is certainly a fair Western European presence in the program ownership.  The aircraft itself is loaded with Western components and systems, including SNECMA for engines in a JV with Saturn/NPO, advanced avionics from Thales, Messier-Dowty landing gear, a Honeywell APU, Goodrich wheels and brakes, Intertechnique fuel system, Parker Hanafin hydraulics, and Liebherr flight controls.

This supplier list could be equally at home for Boeing or Airbus.  The result is an aircraft that relies on strong companies with excellent product support, unlike the logistics challenges associated with Russian aircraft of the past.

Will the Superjet 100 be a market success?  The leasing company about to place an order indicates that in their analysis, the Superjet beat both the Embraer and Bombardier competition in their analysis of the 100 seat class.

While the market will be the final arbiter, this provides an interesting data point in the upcoming battle of 8 producers of 100 seat plus aircraft in the space just five years ago occupied by only Airbus and Boeing, after the demise of earlier competition from Fokker and BAe.

A revolution and shake out in the 70-200 seat narrow-body market will soon occur, and a North American order for Sukhoi could provide a needed boost to Russian hopes.

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