Posted on: 15 February 2012 by Mark Howells
Irkut Corporation and Lufthansa Consulting have signed a co-operation agreement designed to build state-of-the-art aircraft marketing and aftersales support to assist Irkut in promoting the new MC-21 aircraft family globally.
Improvement of the marketing and sales processes for the MC-21 family, development of promotion instruments, support in the creation of an aftersales service system that meets current and future requirements of world’s leading airlines are featured as the main areas of co-operation.
Behind the scenes at Irkut, 2011 was an important year for the development of the both the MC-21 and Irkut’s parent, United Aircraft Corporation, according to UAC chairman and president Mikhail Pogosyan. This involved the integration into UAC of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) programme. “The experience from the SSJ100’s development is the base for the MC-21, as well as for the support and integration of equipment into the aircraft,” Pogosyan noted.
Alexey Fedorov, president, Irkut Corporation, confirmed that the first flight is still planned for the end of 2014, with the aim of getting Russian certification at the end of 2016 and then within a year to get either EASA or FAA certification.
“The first electronic models of the airframe are being passed over to the plant where the aircraft will be built,” Fedorov reported. “We’ve made the decision to start with the MC-21-300 (with 180 seats) based on the orders that we have so far received. The -200 will be the second aircraft into production. We have chosen almost all the main partners.”
Fedorov added that the family looks set to have 5% less weight per passenger against its competition, thus making fuel burn lower and emissions too.
On the interior configuration, Irkut has been working with supplier Zodiac. “To define the size of the aisle for example, Zodiac did disembarkation tests with real customers. And the result was that we decided that a 22 inch aisle is the optimum size,” Fedorov remarked.
With nearly all main system providers selected, Fedorov was asked about selection of product support partners. “In the aftermarket we have experience with Alenia [through the SSJ] and we will use to that to the maximum,” he responded.
The end of the the critical design review is not far away, according to Fedorov. “The configuration is almost frozen. We expect to come to a close in the next 3-4 months,” he commented.
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net