Arctic tests clear Superjet for high-latitude operations

Russia's federal air transport regulator has cleared the Sukhoi Superjet 100 to operate at high latitudes following tests conducted at Svalbard.

The Norwegian archipelago is situated in the Arctic Ocean around 74-81°N, while Svalbard airport lies just above 78°N.

Sukhoi's civil aircraft division used one of its prototype Superjets, serial number 95005, to carry out tests at Svalbard at the end of March.

Owing to the "peculiarities" of operations in the Arctic region, the airframer says that it needed to examine the behaviour of equipment on the twinjet – particularly the inertial navigation system – under limiting geographical conditions.

"As part of the tests, the aircraft crew shut down and turned on all the aircraft systems, ascertained that all of these systems performed correctly, and set different variations of inertial system modes on the apron," it adds.

The tests showed that the navigation system is capable of handling flights from such high-latitude airports.

Federal air transport regulator Rosaviatsia says it has issued approval to Sukhoi Civil Aircraft enabling the Superjet to operate at latitudes up to 78.25°N.

It says that approval follows the "positive results" of the certification tests at Svalboard and analysis of the airframer's support documentation.

Sukhoi's test aircraft at Svalbard was the same jet which suffered substantial damage from a gear-up landing while conducting certification tests at Reykjavik's Keflavik airport in 2013.

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