Piotr Butowski reports on the first flight of the Irkut MC-21, Russia’s latest airliner
On the morning of May 28, at the Irkut Corporation airfield in Irkutsk near Lake Baikal, the first new MC-21- 300 airliner, registered 73051 (c/n 0001), took off. The aircraft, with Oleg Kononenko and Roman Taskayev at the controls, spent 30 minutes in the air. The flight was made without problems at a speed of 162kts (300km/h) and at an altitude of 3,281ft (1,000m). The MC-21 was accompanied in flight by a Yak-130 jet trainer, which is also made in Irkutsk.
The President of Irkut Corporation, Oleg Demchenko, declared: “Today is a historic day for our collective and the whole command working on [the] MC-21. We have applied in our aircraft the most advanced technical solutions, which will provide increased comfort to passengers and attractive efficiency features to airlines.”