PARIS AIR SHOW: Superjet flies as Sukhoi aims to build backlog

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Sukhoi has flown the Superjet 100 at the Paris Air Show, although chief Mikhail Pogosyan has yet to confirm whether the manufacturer will increase orders for the type at the event.

The second prototype aircraft, 95003, which arrived at Le Bourget last week, displayed today shortly after Pogosyan held a briefing at which he confidently predicted a firm backlog of 150 by the end of this year.

But while he said the company was "expecting to increase orders" for the type, he would not indicate whether any would be disclosed at the show.

Sukhoi has 98 of the PowerJet SaM146-equipped aircraft on order, and serial production has started on 13. First deliveries are still scheduled for the end of this year, says Pogosyan, with the first four twin-jets going to Armavia and Aeroflot.

 apg photography
 © APG Photography

Pogosyan says Sukhoi intends to achieve a production rate of 70 aircraft per year by 2012 as it bids to secure 20% of the regional aircraft market.

He says the manufacturer will initially concentrate on southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, but adds: "With the progress of the programme we can go west."

Sukhoi is still aiming for certification of the Superjet in November. A third flight-test prototype, out of a group of four, is set to join the evaluation programme in July.