VIDEO: Tu-204SM flies for first time

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Video images have emerged of the maiden flight of the Tupolev Tu-204SM, the modernised variant of the Russian-built twin-jet.

The aircraft was rolled out earlier this week and performed the flight on 29 December, lifting off at 13:25 Moscow time.

Russia's United Aircraft states that the aircraft will be able to achieve a range of about 4,000km (2,160nm), with 9h duration, in a two-class layout with 174 seats.

The aircraft took off from the Aviastar plant at Ulyanovsk and the initial flight lasted about 50min.

United Aircraft states: "The test programme established for the first flight was successful. The aircraft landed at precisely the appointed time."

 

Tupolev has designed the Tu-204SM with upgraded navigation and communications equipment which will allow operation by a two-person crew.

It is fitted with a newly-developed powerplant, the Aviadvigatel PS-90A2.

While the aircraft has entered its flight-test programme the prospects for the Tu-204SM are uncertain, as its manufacturer has struggled to secure a stable initial order backlog.