Russia efficiently exams first post-Soviet Russian-made massive passenger jet
The test routes were specially selected because of the high humidity and the low temperatures found there, which lead to ice formation on aircraft surfaces
- Aircraft tests were carried out in the frozen state
- Aircraft flew 14 times over the coast of the White Sea, part of the Barents Sea and the subpolar Urals
- Irkut has been successfully flying the MC-21 for more than three years
The Russian civil aviation authorities have conducted a test on Russia’s first post-Soviet large domestic passenger aircraft, the MC-21-300.
The tests were carried out under freezing conditions to observe how the aircraft behaves when it is covered in ice. The aircraft has successfully completed certification tests under natural icing conditions in northern Russia and can fly safely in harsh conditions, the manufacturer Irkut Corporation, part of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), announced earlier this week.
The aircraft completed around 14 flights lasting three to five hours over the coast of the White Sea, part of the Barents Sea and the subpolar Urals. The routes were specially selected because of the high humidity and the low temperatures there, which lead to ice formation on aircraft surfaces.
The certification flights were carried out in several steps. First, the crew looked for clouds that would create the necessary conditions. Special equipment installed on the plane, including 12 cameras, enabled them to control how much of the plane’s surface was covered in ice and record how it was working. After the ice was thick enough, the airliner gained altitude to check its performance under these conditions.
The ice thickness increased with each test flight, eventually reaching eight centimeters – more than enough to say the aircraft passed the test successfully. According to Russian and European standards, an aircraft should not lose its designed properties if it covers a 3-inch thick layer of ice.
After completing the certification flights, the MC-21-300 returned from Arkhangelsk to Zhukovsky Airport near Moscow.
Irkut has successfully flown the MC-21 for more than three years, but the inability to acquire US-made parts for the aircraft forced the company to consider ways to develop the aircraft with more domestic components. A variant of the MC-21, known as the MC-21-310, equipped with two Russian PD-14 engines, made its maiden flight late last year.