Tupolev rolls out first Tu-204SM

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Russian airframer Aviastar has today rolled out the first Tupolev Tu-204SM twin-jet in an event to be followed by the type's maiden flight.

After leaving the final assembly shop on 28 December, the aircraft, RA-64150, carried out a series of ground taxiing exercises at the plant's aerodrome in Ulyanovsk.

"This comprised doing standard acceleration and deceleration runs along with comprehensive control functionality checks," deputy chief designer Mikhail Khalenkov tells ATI.

"Our on-site team of experts is reporting that all equipment has performed within the design parameters."

Pilot-in-command Viktor Minashkin handled the aircraft in accordance with the Tupolev's normal operating procedures.

Khalenkov says the Tu-204SM maiden flight is scheduled for 29 December, "weather conditions permitting and barring contingencies".

"It will last one to one-and-a-half hours, as usual," he adds. "A further two test examples are fully furnished at Aviastar and ready to enter post-assembly trials.

"There will be some dozen flights with their number varying for each of the three aircraft depending on particular systems and kinds of performance to be tested.

"Afterwards, they will undergo the type certification programme, which tentatively calls for carrying out around 300 test flights."