This is largely an update to my 2018 post Overview of Russian Airports & Aircraft Construction.
Narrow-body airliner for 211 passengers and a competitor to the Airbus 320/Boeing 727 has now made its maiden flight with the Russian-made PD-14 engines, which replaced the American Pratt & Whitney 1400G engines.
This marks the biggest step forwards in the process of technological indigenization in aircraft construction that accelerated after Western sanctions in 2014.
This makes it a different beast from the Sukhoi Superjet 100, most of which were (at least earlier) primarily built from foreign components, or for that matter Embraer aircraft such as the ERJ-190, in which pretty much all of the more technologically complex components appear to be sourced from abroad. But Brazil doesn’t have to worry about Western sanctions.
The Corona-related depression of air travel and resulting excess fleet capacity, as well as the problems with the Boeing 737 MAX, gives the MC-21-300 breathing room to ramp up production before Russian airliners need to start renewing their fleets.
There are ~300 existing orders and the aim is to produce 75 per year from 2025.
On the very same day, a new version of the Ilyushin Il-114 turboprop, also now mostly composed of Russian-made components, was also tested. There are currently ~40 orders from airlines specializing in local routes in the Arctic.
Nearly 1,000 CR929 long-range wide-body jetliners, the largest joint endeavor between China and Russia in the aviation industry, are expected to be sold globally from 2023 to 2045, said a key project leader at Commercial #Aircraft Corp of China. https://t.co/hHPc1bV77O pic.twitter.com/clU7b7Y6Zk
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) December 11, 2020
The CRAIC CR929 is not going so well, with progress slowing down due to disputes over things like tech transfer and where the planes will be manufactured. Russian and Chinese business culture don’t sync well, so its prospects are more cloudy.