Russian aerospace firm United Aircraft has restored to flight a Tupolev Tu-214 which it intends to use as a flying laboratory.

United Aircraft indicates that the twinjet was formerly in service with Transaero.

Transaero had an order for 10 Tu-214s, powered by PS-90A engines, and took delivery of its first – registered RA-64509 – in 2007.

The Moscow-based airline collapsed in 2015.

United Aircraft says it has restored a Tu-214 to airworthiness and carried out its first flight, without identifying the specific airframe.

Tu-214 lab-c-United Aircraft

Source: United Aircraft

United Aircraft indicates the restored twinjet is an ex-Transaero Tu-214

But RA-64509 appears to have conducted a flight out of Kazan’s Borisoglebskoye airfield, where the Tu-214 manufacturing plant is located, on 12 June.

“The flying laboratory will be used to test a number of components of systems and on-board equipment under the import-substitution programme, as well as for modernisation and further development of the Tu-214 platform,” says United Aircraft.

It adds that the first test flight, with a Tupolev crew on board, lasted about 1h 30min and the twinjet flew to an altitude of 10,000m (32,800ft)

“Necessary checks of all systems were performed,” it states. “According to the crew, the flight was normal, the systems worked without any problems.”

The import-substitution programme aims to replace foreign-built components with alternatives sourced domestically.

United Aircraft says the aircraft will be retrofitted and repainted for its new role.