Meet Irkut MC-21, First Russian Large Airlines Post-Soviet Era

Russia watched as the Irkut Mc-21 embarked on its maiden flight on Sunday. The Irkut MC-21 is the first large airliner created by Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The aircraft is designed to be a direct competitor to the two most popular airlines in the world today, the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737 which is a single-aisle large airliner.

Airliner Flies above Irkutsk
Russia released the MC-21 prototype on early Sunday morning at the Siberian airfield, the Irkutsk Aviation Plant. The plane flew around the base which is about 2,600 miles to the east of Moscow, and reached an altitude of 1,000 meters during its 30 minute flight.

All systems were normal and the flight operated optimally, stated the lead test pilot of the Irkut MC-21, Oleg Kononenko. The airliner however flew at a lower altitude as well as a shorter time than its direct competitor from China. The airliner is one of the many releases made across the world in 2017. It is the latest in a series of debuts made by leading companies globally. Its Chinese competitor, the Comac C919, had made its maiden flight on the fifth of May.

No News on International Flight Debut
Although the flight bodes well for Russia as they could make the airliner’s international debut at the Paris Air Show in June, the makers of the Irkut have yet to comment or confirm of their participation in the air show. Russia has, on the other hand, been making it clear they want to use the Irkut to improve their non-military aerospace exports globally, as opposed to the Comac C919.