Highlights of the Paris Air Show (II): the Russians are coming, MC-21 & the first American Superjet
Russian aviation is one of the favourite topics of this blog, and, as such, I could not miss two important presentations that took place during the last edition of the Paris Air Show.
In the first one, Mikhail Pogosyan outlined the situation and future projects of UAC, United Aircraft Corporation, the state-owned conglomerate responsible for producing Russia's most famous aircraft: MIG, Ilyushin, Irkut, Tupolev, Yakovlev, Sukhoi...
I find one of these projects of particular interest: the Irkut MC-21, or Russia's attempt to get back its place in the middle-sized commercial aircraft market. This is the reason, later on the same day, I headed to Irkut's chalet at Le Bourget, for a briefing on the state of the MC-21 programme.
At this presentation we could hear about the progress being made by some of the key contractors. Some key dates: to keep in mind:
MC-21 first flight is scheduled for 2015.
Certification and deliveries are expected by 2017 and the whole project is expected to become profitable in 2025.
Avia Capital Services, that is acquiring the aircraft on behalf of Aeroflot was confirmed as the launch customer for the MS-21, which will be priced between $72M. and $80M depending on the version.
Also of note was the mock-up of the MC-21 cabin that we all could visit.
By the way, in case there was still any doubt, it was confirmed that Russia's flagship airliner is going to be marketed as "MC" and not as "MS", with "S" being the latin transliteration of the cyrillic letter "C". MC-21 then, s it sounds good both in Russian and in English (we commented on this issue one year ago at the Farnborough Air Show)
And what was not a mock-up but the real thing was Interjet's first Sukhoi Superjet, that was delivered at the Paris Air Show and open to visits before being flown to Mexico by its Italian crew. Here are some pictures of the aircraft.