Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) has displayed the executive version of its Superjet 100 at an air show for only the second time as the Russian-Italian partnership works to certificate an extended-range version of the business aircraft by the start of next year.
The Sukhoi Business Jet (SBJ) made its southern hemisphere debut at the Africa Aerospace & Defence show in Waterkloof, South Africa, from 14-18 September. Displayed with a three-section interior with capacity for 19 passengers, it has a range of 4,700km. The extended-range variant, with additional fuel tanks, will take that range to 6,000km, says SCAC. The variant had previously been exhibited at the Jet Expo business aviation show in Moscow in 2014.
The Leonardo/Sukhoi joint venture, based in Komsomolsk in Russia’s far east, is keen to sell both the VIP and 100-seat passenger version of the PowerJet SaM146-powered Superjet in sub-Saharan Africa, a market where it has yet to win any orders.
SCAC says it has delivered seven SBJs since 2015, with most sales within Russia. Swiss VIP operator Comlux has taken delivery of one SBJ, which is still at its completions house in Indianapolis and due to enter service by the end of the year. It plans to base the aircraft in central Asia.
Earlier this year, the Royal Thai Air Force took delivery of two VIP-configured Superjets, intended to transport government officials and high-ranking military officers. The aircraft are configured with a VIP area, a six-seat business-class cabin, and a 50-seat standard passenger section.
At July’s Farnborough air show, Sukhoi introduced a variant of the Superjet aimed at the charter market for sports teams. Earmarked for certification in 2018, the model includes zones for players as well as support staff, and space for equipment such as treatment tables and a treadmill.
The market for regional airliner-derived business jets has been limited. Embraer offers the Legacy 650, based on the ERJ-135, and the Lineage, developed from the larger E190. Bombardier, however, has stopped producing the CRJ200-based Challenger 850.
Source: Flight International