Russia considers new airliner brand The two Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) airliners, the Superjet 100 and MS-21, may be redesignated to bring them under a single brand, SCAC president Aleksandr Rubtsov announced on April 25. Both types completed a joint marketing tour in Africa in April. The MS-21 will be built at the Irkutsk Aircraft Factory. One of the two prototype MS-21s currently carrying out flight-testing will make the type’s first international flight later this year. Current planning is for ten production MS-21s to be built by 2020. Annual production is to increase to 35 in 2023. David C Isby

Superjet 75 funding

A 75-seat version of the Sukhoi SSJ100 Superjet airliner will be developed with government funding assistance, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogazin announced in April. The initial funding will be RUB 6 billion. Launch customer will be the Russian government, with ten SSJ75s for the Special Flight Detachment for VIP travel and 30–40 for the Russian Ministry of Defence, with deliveries planned to start in 2023. Commercial deliveries will follow in 2024–2025; S7 Airlines signed a letter of intent for 50 SSJ75s with options for a further 25 in late April. David C Isby

Enhanced Aerial Firefighter

Longview Aviation Asset Management (LAAM) and Viking Air have launched the CL-415EAF (Enhanced Aerial Firefighter) conversion. Eleven LAAM-owned CL-215 aerial fire-fighting aircraft will undergo modification to CL-415EAF using Viking-supplied conversion kits. The conversion programme forms part of what the companies described as a staged approach to provide a basis for a proposed new-production amphibious aerial fire-fighter, the CL-515. Viking has applied to the Canadian federal Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development for funding support. Mark Broadbent

ARJ21 in Iceland

There was a unique guest in Iceland recently when the COMAC ARJ21 completed crosswind validation testing at Keflavik International Airport to widen its operational scope. Initiated by the Civil Aviation Administration of China and subsequently approved, ARJ21 B-001Q (c/n 104) was involved in these tests to expand the so far validated limits of 22kts (40km/h) crosswinds during testing in China. Altogether, the tests involved six take-offs and landings at an average take-off crosswind of 38.4kts (71km/h) and an average landing crosswind of 34.9kts (65km/h). The maximum verified crosswind was 48.7kts (90km/h), exceeding the aircraft’s design limits of 30kts (55km/h) for take-offs and 27kts (50km/h) for landing. Andreas Rupprecht

Converted 767F for RAM

Royal Air Maroc has taken delivery of its first converted Boeing 767-300BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter), CN-ROW (c/n 30008) after it was converted from passenger configuration under a deal signed last year. The aircraft arrived in Casablanca on April 15. The 767 is the first widebody freighter in Royal Air Maroc’s fleet, joining a single 737-300F. The conversion, performed by Boeing in the United States, will help the airline establish Casablanca as an international freight hub, as it will triple the carrier’s annual cargo capacity from 57 to 169 million lb (26 to 77 million kg). Guy Martin