Russia's Irkut is to market its developmental narrowbody airliner as the MC-21, and says it is on course to manufacture the first example by year-end.
Speaking at the Paris air show, Irkut president Oleg Demchenko outlined "major milestones" the programme has passed since the Farnborough air show last year. These, he says, include signing of all the supplier contracts, which mean "the aircraft is turning from paper to metal".
The manufacturer is deploying the marketing slogan "MC-21: only the best", and is adamant that this will be the aircraft's official name, rather than the MS-21 moniker that has been in common use.
Specification testing of the jet's Pratt & Whitney PW1400 geared turbofan engine is to begin within a few months, while the aircraft's wing design has been completed and two plants for their construction are being finalised.
Demchenko says Irkut has won 135 firm orders for the aircraft, of which the standard -200 variant has a list price of $72 million. There will also be a larger -300 model.
Irkut hopes to fly the aircraft in 2015 and that certification and commissioning will follow in 2017, with the programme finally becoming profitable by 2025.
The standard-variant MC-21 has a list price of $72 million.
Check out the latest news and views from this year's Paris air show, including:
Finally, our new-look iFDN editions will contain exclusive footage from Paris 2013. Find out more