The Sukhoi-led Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) team has increased its market forecast from 600 to 800 sales over the next 20 years, after the group held its first airline consultancy council with potential customers last month.

Airlines were presented with a critical design review of the aircraft, and the amended configuration is to be used as a basis for formal customer offers.

RRJ's revised market prognosis for 800 RRJs would be worth $12 billion. Research and development costs are estimated at $650 million on airframe and systems, and about half that for the Snecma/NPO Saturn SM146 engines. First flight is set for 2006, with deliveries the following year.

Meanwhile, the first flight of the Antonov An-148 regional jet has slipped by one month to April next year. Three prototype aircraft are being assembled by the KhAPO plant in Kharkov, Ukraine. One will be used for static tests and the others for Russian certification flight tests. Series production may be shared with a Russian plant. VASO in Voronezh, Russia supplies the An-148's empennage, while UUAZ in Ulan-Ude also supplies airframe components. The latter is considering setting up an assembly line.

Source: Flight International