Sukhoi has introduced a third Superjet 100 prototype to the twin-jet's flight-test programme, an airframe which will be the first to be fitted with a passenger cabin.

Aircraft 95004 took to the air at 19:44 on 25 July for a flight lasting 1hr 21min.

Sukhoi's civil aircraft division says the flight aimed to test operation of all aircraft systems, and adds: "It was quite similar to the flights performed to check the ramp-up production aircraft prior to delivery."

In addition to the passenger cabin the aircraft will be equipped with a certification-ready avionics suite.

Superjet 95004
 © Sukhoi Civil Aircraft

The PowerJet SaM146-powered aircraft will be painted and, once factory flights in Komsomolsk-on-Amur are completed, it will be flown to Moscow to join the other two flight-test examples, 95001 and 95003.

It will be displayed alongside 95003 at the MAKS air show in Moscow during August.

Sukhoi states that the aircraft will also be flown to Italy and used to conduct instrument landing system, precision area navigation and high-intensity radiated field tests.

Sukhoi Superjet 100
 © Sukhoi Civil Aircraft

"Putting another Superjet 100 in the sky is an important milestone for us," says new Sukhoi civil aircraft president Vladimir Prisyazhnyuk. "It demonstrates the capacity of this comfort-oriented design, which has taken into consideration the noise and emissions of the aircraft, safety of the passenger cabin, and also the comfort of its pilots, crew, and passengers."

Sukhoi's first prototype, 95001, had conducted 176 flights by 21 July, totalling 476hr, while 95003 had accumulated 100 flights and 227hr. The airframer has 122 Superjets on firm order.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news