Flight-testing of the Irkut MC-21 has resumed at Moscow’s Gromov institute after a temporary interruption to enable compliance with new requirements to counter the coronavirus outbreak.
United Aircraft states that it is trying to “minimise the impact” of the situation on the twinjet’s test and certification programme.
It says it has developed measures to enable remote-working for departments connected to the design of the aircraft and drawn up schedules for carrying out the main programme tasks.
United Aircraft says more than 300 flights have been conducted, but that around 650 flights will be necessary to secure Russian certification, enabling delivery of serially-produced aircraft.
Flutter tests have been completed, it points out, along with most of the work for various angles of attack, plus assessments of navigation and instrument landing capabilities.
Flights have also been carried out for speed thresholds, such as minimum-unstick, and to explore engine-failure scenarios during critical flight phases.
“Significant efforts are currently focused on software development and testing,” says United Aircraft.
Four MC-21-300s are participating in the flight-test work, two of which have passenger cabins – one in a two-class configuration based on 163 seats and the other with a 211-seat all-economy layout.
Each aircraft in the fleet has incorporated enhancements and improvements based on the results of its predecessors’ flight-test results, the manufacturer says.
All of the test aircraft are fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW1400G engines but Irkut is finalising assembly of the first airframe with the rival Aviadvigatel PD-14.