IRKUT Corporation, well-known in India as the manufacturer of Su-30MKI fighters, plans to produce its MC-21-300 airliner by the end of 2015. A maiden flight of this new plane is scheduled for 2016, while deliveries of first batch to customers are being planned for 2018.
India might be of potential interest for the MC-21 project to develop a family of 150-200 seat airliners, which offer higher return on investment than competing aircraft operating in India. The issue of India-Russia cooperation in civil aviation was discussed in November 2014 during the visit of Mr. Dmitry Rogozin, deputy of the Russian prime minister to New Delhi.
Mr. Oleg Demchenko, President of IRKUT Corporation, believes that collaboration within the MC-21 Program with Indian manufacturers could be as fruitful as one within the Su-30MKI Program. “In terms of performance, economy and comfort, the MC-21 will outperform other planes of the same category. It has a set of innovations which have never been deployed in single-aisle aircraft. MC-21 is being developed as cooperation between Russian and foreign companies.”
The MC-21 makes extensive use of lightweight composite materials which improve the plane’s aerodynamics significantly and decreases its weight.
The development of a family of airliners with 150 – 200 seat capacity is a major project of Russia in civil aviation. Its main target is to enter a market of the most numerous niche of single-aisle aircraft.