By Justin Wastnage in London

The Sukhoi Su-80GP high-wing commuter turboprop has performed its first flight ahead of a certification flight test programme planned for this year.

The aircraft (82911), powered by two General Electric ST7-9B engines, flew from the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Association (KnAAPO) runway in Siberia for a brief maiden flight (pictured below). The GP is 1.4m (4ft 7in) longer than the original two prototypes, which have already flown. Sukhoi says the aircraft will perform 15-20 certification flights this year following a series of five first test flights.

Su-80 first flight 01 W445
© Sukhoi

 Su-80 first flight 02 W445

The Su-80GP quickchange cargo aircraft is designed to carry 30 passengers or 3,300kg (7,260lb) and is aimed at commuter routes up to 1,800km (1,000nm) in Russia and in rough terrain.

Production of the first serial aircraft is to begin next year.

Source: Flight International