Can a Russian plane compete with Boeing and Airbus?
While I’m no plane expert or big aviation geek, Russian state media said a new medium-range plane, the Irkut MC-21 was “superior to its Western-made counterparts in many respects“.Irkut had a ceremony at a factory in Siberia on Wednesday where they unveiled the new plane. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who said the plane was “cool“.
According to Reuters, Medvedev also said that “it was important that Russia remained in what he called the top league of aircraft makers despite the high costs involved“.
Irkut is a subsidiary of the state controlled United Aircraft Corporation.
There will be two versions of the plane:
- MC-21-300 will have 160-211 seats
- MC-21-200 will have 130-165 seats
The MC-21 will have a range of 3,900+ miles and operational costs could be up to 15% lower than current planes. The plane is made of composite materials which makes it much lighter and stronger. It also allows them to give it a special shape.
Deliveries are expected to start in 2018 and the state media said that some contracts have been agreed on with both domestic and foreign carriers.
Find out more from Reuters here.