A scale model of a potential VVIP configuration of the MC-21 airliner being built by Russia’s Irkut Corporation is on display at the MAKS 2017 show currently on in Moscow.
The display of the model has surprised observers as the MC-21 was first intended to come out only in passenger airliner configurations of varying seating capacity.
A VVIP version of the medium haul airliner will mean it will be equipped with secure communication systems as well as defensive systems as such a large aircraft will only be targeted at the transport of senior political leaders.
The flight simulator of the MC-21- 300 aircraft and a model of the new VIP version of the airliner are exhibited at the UAC stand in the F-1 pavilion. MC-21- 300 test aircraft, which performed the maiden flight on May 28, 2017, is being tested at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant, a branch of Irkut Corporation.
As of July 18, 2017, MC-21- 300 test aircraft successfully completed 9 test flights. The processing of information obtained during the tests is being conducted.
Preparations for strain-gage testing began. More than 500 sensors are glued onto the MC-21-300 aircraft, which will record the loads acting on all elements of the airframe. Then, ground- based strain-gage calibration will be carried out, during which sensors record the effect on the aircraft of various combinations of reference loads. This calibration will ensure the required accuracy of the sensor readings in subsequent flights. As a result, designers will be able to compare the actual loads acting on the glider in flight, with the loads taken during the design of the aircraft.
The MC-21- 300 aircraft will perform more than 30 flights in Irkutsk within the framework of factory testing. After that the plane will fly to Zhukovsky airfield for passing the certification tests.
In 2018, three more MC-21- 300 aircraft will join test flights, which are currently being built at the Irkutsk aviation plant, a subsidiary of Irkut Corporation.
On July 18, during the visit to MAKS-2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin familiarized himself with the implementation of the new MC-21 commercial airliner program.