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Russia's first modern airliner nears certification

Moscow, Russia - Russia's Irkut MC-21 is nearing EASA certifications. European regulator's test pilots completed the third flight session with the aircraft as part of the aircraft's certification process.

On Oct. 31st, A mixed crew from EASA and the Yakovlev engineering, a UAC (United Aircraft Corporation) subsidiary, performed a series of flights with an MC-21-300 prototype. EASA teams began flight testing with the aircraft this year in February.

EASA certification is a critical milestone for the Russian manufacturer to introduce the country's first modern airliner to the international market.

The four MC-21 prototypes used for the certification campaign are powered by Pratt & Whitney's PW1400G-JM engines. Irkut will offer the MC-21 to its customers with PW1400G-JM or Russian Aviadvigatel PD-14 engine options.

Aviadvigatel's PD-14 will have to be certified separately. The last MC-21 prototype will be equipped with these engines.

Rosaviatsiya is expected to become the first civil aviation agency to certify the aircraft in 2020. European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is expected to follow the Russian regulator in 2021.

Irkut's MC-21 has so far accumulated 175 firm orders mainly from Russian airline operators. Irkut also received order commitments for 160 aircraft more.

The Russian manufacturer plans to deliver the first aircraft in 2021 to the launch customer Aeroflot.