The Russian company United Aircraft has delivered a prototype fuselage for Irkut’s “SSJ-New”, the updated version of the Superjet 100, to test facilities in Moscow.
The SSJ-New revises the basic design of the aircraft to include a greater proportion of Russian-made components, as well as to incorporate evolutionary changes developed from Superjet operational experience.
It will be powered by the Aviadvigatel PD-8 engine as an alternative to the Franco-Russian PowerJet SaM146.
The SSJ-New fuselage – the second built to date – was transported by an Antonov An-124 from the Komsomolsk-on-Amur production line in eastern Russia to the Gromov Flight Research Institute in Zhukovsky near Moscow.
Irkut chief executive Andrei Boginsky said the move marks the first time the new aircraft structure has left the facilities of his manufacturing company.
It will soon be transferred to the Central Institute of Aerohydrodynamics where the aircraft will be coupled with its wing, vertical fin and horizontal stabilizer, in order to undergo life cycle tests.
These tests consist of exposing the airframe and the landing gear to cyclic loading, simulating the effects of 54,000 hours of flight.
“It is intended to obtain data on the airframe’s fatigue life and operational survivability, as well as confirm the design’s compliance with aviation standard requirements,” United Aircraft said.
The first SSJ-New airframe remains on the final assembly line and is being fitted with replacement systems and equipment intended to reduce Russian reliance on foreign-made parts.
Boginsky says the first SSJ-New will make its maiden flight next year, beginning a certification program that will lead to mass production.