PICTURE: Superjet 100 makes maiden flight

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Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft has commenced flight trials of the Superjet 100 regional aircraft, after carrying out the maiden flight of its Powerjet SaM146-powered 95-seat twinjet at its production and testing facility at Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

Sukhoi chief test pilot Alexander Yablontsev, assisted by Leonid Chikunov, piloted the aircraft, which was airborne during one hour and five minutes and reached an altitude of 1,200m.

The Superjet flew four times over the runway at different altitudes and performed a full circle turn before landing.

The flight marks the beginning of a trial programme, which will involve six Superjet 100 test examples and around 600 flights required for receiving certification.

ssj-1st-flight-445 
 © Knaapo

Aeroflot is a launch customer for the model with 30 aircraft on a firm order. Under the original plan, the first delivery was due in November 2008.

But Sukhoi director general Mihail Pogosyan downplayed a possibility of penalties from the carrier, saying the two sides would re-negotiate the delivery schedule. “I’m not aware of any aviation project in the world that is being carried out without delays,” he adds.

Source: flightglobal.com's sister Air Transport Intelligence news

Aircraft profile: Sukhoi Superjet 100