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MC-21 strength check set to allow broader flight testing

Irkut will be able to expand the flight-test programme of the MC-21-300 following load analysis of the wing.

The Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute says it carried out “one of the most important stages” of strength testing for the twinjet’s wing at the end of August.

Manoeuvres such as rapid climbs, it says, can impose high vertical loads on the wing, and the test centred on assessing wing strength for vertical loading up to 2.5g.

Tests on the static airframe – known as the MC-21-300SI – involved applying maximum loads to the wing while other sections, including the fuselage, horizontal stabiliser and engines, were counterbalanced.

“All sections showed good compliance with strength standards,” says the institute, adding that the results will allow “a number of restrictions” on the flight-test aircraft to be lifted, and the certification test programme to expand.

Further tests on the static MC-21-300SI fuselage will examine the resistance to maximum loads during landing.

Two MC-21-300 flight-test aircraft are stationed at the Gromov institute in Moscow.

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