Sukhoi begins flight trials of upgraded Superjet 100s

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Sukhoi has started flight trials of the first upgraded Superjet 100 ahead of reconfiguring its cabin interior to Aeroflot specifications.

The aircraft was rolled out at Sukhoi's KnAAPO factory and dubbed the Superjet full version. It will undergo a special testing programme to double check improvements in a number of on-board systems.

Deputy director for production Sergei Sheremetov says the upgrades will tackle technical problems reported by Aeroflot, which has 10 Superjets in revenue service.

In particular, enhancements have been made to eliminate malfunctions in devices controlling leakage prevention, slat extension and landing gear retraction.

"We've introduced appropriate changes into design documentation, component maintenance bulletins and troubleshooting manuals," says Sheremetov. "There are the usual teething troubles at the start of the programme but that's to be expected. And we're solving them hands-on."

Under the agreement with Aeroflot, the airframer is to replace 10 early-model Superjets with upgraded variants, of which seven deliveries are due this year.

Alongside other improvements, their reconfigured cabin interior will feature individual air fan control systems, three toilets and four kitchen areas. Avionics will have renewed software enabling wireless data transfer, says Sheremetov.

Sukhoi plans to hand over the first upgraded Superjet to Aeroflot in April. Afterwards, the airframer will start refurbishing initial Superjet variants for other customers.