Can This Russian Plane Compete with Boeing & Airbus?

Russian Plane
image: United Aircraft Corporation

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.

5 thoughts on “Can This Russian Plane Compete with Boeing & Airbus?

  1. That plane could reach New York (according to google), so I wonder if budget airlines (like Ryanair) could get in on some transatlantic flights as they have signaled their intentions before. I guess it’s all down to price.

  2. If you believe what’s being touted, you’d have to believe the Russkies are more technologically advanced than Boeing. Sounds like United Aircraft Corp. is imitating Putin’s blustering. I for one would have grave concerns flying on anything made and needing maintenance in Russia. Shame on any U.S. carrier if it bought any!

    1. It still has to pass safety tests for it to be able to fly to various countries. And then if it passes, the only reason it’ll be unsafe is if an airline makes it so. Thinking about it more now, i think Chinese/Asian carriers are likely to be the ‘foreign’ carriers buying the plane, and I’m wondering if the US carriers would actually even be allowed to buy Russian planes.

  3. Cameron- It’s definitely possible but with politics involved who knows if many western countries will want to buy from a Russian state-owned company.

    Rich- I’d find it hard to believe that a US airline would buy one of these planes. Like Cameron said, I also would think China and other countries on friendlier terms with Russia could be potential customers.

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