Series production of the Tupolev Tu-334 twinjet has moved a step nearer, with the Russian Government issuing a special order approving assembly at the MAPO plant in Moscow.

The paper, signed in early October by Russia's prime minister, Vladimir Putin, replaces a previous government decision to launch series production of the 100-seater at the TAGPO plant in Tagangrog.

The much-delayed development programme of the Tupolev-designed twinjet has been fraught with setbacks due to funding difficulties. The prototype only entered flight-testing in February, despite being rolled out several years ago. While the government order does not promise any immediate financial support for the programme, it may be available later.

The government has issued instructions that the flight test and certification programme should be completed in 2001, and that series production at MAPO should begin in 2002.

Source: Flight International