Robust Start For NEO, Big Hope For MAX
By Michael Mecham, Robert Wall, Maxim Pyadushkin, Bradley Perrett
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
Two years ago, Irkut was predicting that its MS-21-200/-300/-400 series would generate 1,200-1,500 orders over 20 years, including 400-600 in Russia's domestic market. The program is in detailed design phase.
Its final assembly facility is under development at Irkutsk, while the TsAGI Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute is testing prototypes of the airplane's composite wing. They are to be manufactured at new facilities in Ulyanovsk and Kazan; production is to begin in 2013.
Although major suppliers were selected in 2009, a change in leadership at Irkut's parent company, United Aircraft Corp., delayed formal signings. UAC is slowly working through the list.
Last November, UAC signed a landing-gear agreement with Nizhny Novgorod-based Hydromash. In June, UAC agreed to use Pratt & Whitney's PW1400G geared turbofan (GTF) engine. Irkut officials say they expect to complete an avionics agreement with Rockwell Collins within a few months.
The GTF's selection for the 150-seat MC-21-200 and 180-seat MC-21-300 will make it the only Western powerplant supplier on the program, but not necessarily its sole supplier. The 25,000-30,000-lb.-thrust PW1400G is not considered big enough to power the 212-seat MS-21-400, which will require 34,000 lb. Pratt & Whitney has designed the GTF series to be scalable for any size engine. But Irkut is looking elsewhere, company officials say.
Their sights are set on the PD-14 from Perm-based Aviadvigatel, a subsidiary of Russia's United Engine Corp. Bench testing began in June and flight trials are set for 2014. Certification is planned in 2016.