PICTURES: Tu-204SM conducts maiden flight

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Tupolev's new Tu-204SM twin-jet has today carried out its maiden flight, staying airborne for about 50min after taking off from the Aviastar plant's aerodrome at Ulyanovsk.

The aircraft took off at 13:23 and landed at 14:15.

Deputy chief designer Mikhail Khalenkov says it completed several successive circuits and climbs to three specific altitudes during the flight.

"Following the landing, our on-site technical crew has begun evaluating on-board flight data in preparation for further tests," he tells ATI.

The Tu-204SM has Aviadvigatel PS-90A2 turbofans and an enhanced auxiliary power unit. With 70% of its equipment superior to that on the baseline Tu-204, says Tupolev, the SM variant is essentially a new aircraft type.

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 © Tupolev