Superjet 100 nearing final certification

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On Dec. 21, the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company said that the Superjet 100 medium-haul passenger aircraft has completed two tests vital for its final international certification.

The emergency evacuation and interrupted takeoff tests were carried out at an airfield in Zhukovsky, near Moscow, under the supervision of the Interstate Aviation Committee Aviation Register (AR IAC) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The first test required 98 volunteers of different age groups and five crew members to evacuate the plane in 90 seconds during an emergency landing. They made it in 73 seconds.

The interrupted takeoff test probed the wheels, tires and brakes at maximum possible braking speed. In full compliance with the certification requirements the test was performed without a thrust reverser.

The Superjet 100 aircraft loaded to its maximum takeoff weight (45,880 kg) performed emergency braking at a speed of over 300km/h and came to a stop after running 700 meters, within the required parameters.

According to the company, the results of the tests showed full compliance of the plane with the EASA and AR IAC certification requirements.

The Superjet 100 project is a family of medium-range passenger aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau in cooperation with major U.S. and European aviation corporations, including Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace, and Honeywell.

The aircraft is capable of carrying 75-95 passengers a distance of up to 4,500 kilometers.

Sukhoi has received at least 122 firm orders for Superjet 100 airliners so far.

Certification of SuperJet SSJ100 on track for November

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Alessandro Franzoni, SuperJet International CEO, told ATW that Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co.’s Superjet 100 is on track to receive a Type Certificate in November from Russian aviation authorities with deliveries to launch customers Aeroflot and Armavia occurring in December.

Franzoni said at European Regions Airline Assn.’s AGM in Barcelona last week that “The delivery process can start as soon as we get this. For sure, the acceptance process [by Aeroflot and Armavia] will start in December.” Aeroflot holds firm orders for 30 SSJ100 plus 15 options, and Armavia has two on firm order with two options.

Meanwhile, SuperJet is bringing everything up to speed to have the technical support and training ready for its first customers, Franzoni added. It has a task force of 30 people, integrating SuperJet, SCAC and SSJ’s important suppliers like PowerJet and Thales, on-site at Moscow Sheremetyevo “and working closely with Aeroflot” to prepare the EIS.

“We continue to work on several markets,” he said, noting SuperJet is maintaining, “the focus on Latin America and Africa as our primary targets. But the good news is that we have some signals that the US market is warming up [to the SSJ], probably a little bit earlier than we expected. Also, leasing companies are now coming to us with serious and concrete interests,” Franzoni said. SuperJet recently logged orders from lessors Pearl Aviation and Willis Lease. The MOUs should be firmed by the end of the year, he said.

Separately, SuperJet is still in discussions with Alitalia, following an October 2009 RFP for 20 SSJs plus five options, Franzoni confirmed. “For us, it would be tremendously important to have Alitalia. They told us they would make a decision in early fall.” He stressed SuperJet is not offering major discounts and over the past year submitted various proposals, “improving our proposition very much. We found a lessor agreeing to an open-ending operational lease at very, very, very attractive rates. We also offered a very attractive support package considering that maybe they will be the first major Western customer and we want to make sure that the transition from their current regional aircraft crew to SSJs will be smooth. We understand that introducing a new aircraft type is a cost to them.”

Reportedly bidding for the AZ regional aircraft order as well are Bombardier and Embraer. The carrier currently operates CRJ900s, Embraer 170 and Avro RJ70 as regional aircraft.

Sukhoi Superjet 100 in Italy for tests

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Yesterday, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft announced the arrival of the Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft in Italy for tests.

According to the company, “A third SSJ100 aircraft will take part in a series of tests, including detecting the noise level and the electromagnetic field,” adding that the tests will take place at Caselle and Cuneo-Levaldigi airports in northern Italy.

The tests are part of a certification program involving three SSJ100 aircraft. The program is now 70% complete, with the aircraft having made 814 flights so far.

The SSJ100 is a family of medium-haul passenger aircraft developed by Sukhoi in cooperation with U.S. and European aviation corporations, including Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace and Honeywell.

The three variants were originally called the RRJ-60, RRJ-75 and RRJ-95, with the numbers designating the average passenger capacity of each type. However, with the renaming of the project to Superjet 100, the RRJ-75 was relabelled the Superjet 100–75, while the RRJ-95 became known as the SSJ 100–95. The smallest variant, called the SSJ 100–60, was temporarily postponed, and efforts are currently concentrating on the largest variant, with the smaller SSJ 100–75 to follow later. Longer variants, called the SSJ 100–110 and the SSJ 100–125, are also planned as well as business, VIP and cargo variants.

Each Superjet 100 costs at around $31.7 million. Sukhoi has so far sealed deals on the delivery of 122 SSJ 100s.