Russian authority certificates Tu-204SM

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Russian authorities have certificated the Tupolev Tu-204SM, the modernised version of the twinjet which achieved its original certification in 1994.

The aircraft, powered by Aviadvigatel PS-90A2 engines, is designed to accommodate 194 passengers and features new navigation avionics and other systems.

It first flew in December 2010 and is designed to be operated by a two-person crew.

Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee says its certification division completed its work on 31 May.

The Tu-204SM is the fourth derivative of the Tu-204 to be approved by the division, after the Tu-214 in 2000, the Tu-204-120CE in 2004 and the long-range Tu-204-300 in 2005.

European authorities also certificated the Tu-204-120CE, powered by Rolls-Royce RB211 engines, in 2008.

While Tupolev has persisted with the Tu-204SM's development, using two prototypes, orders for the jet have been virtually non-existent.

Russian carrier Red Wings, a large Tu-204 operator, had signalled that it would be prepared to acquire several, but the airline was grounded earlier this year.