Posts Tagged 'Sukhoi'

Sukhoi SuperJet 100 Missing in Indonesia

A Russian built Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger plane with at least 44 people aboard has gone missing on a demonstration flight in Indonesia, on 9th May, 2012 – and confirmed the next morning to have crashed into the side of the Mount Salak volcano.

The plane took off from east Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma airport shortly before 14:00 local time (07:00 GMT) and was scheduled to fly an approx. 30 min circle from Jakarta as the second of two demonstration flights today, with 8 Russian and 36 other nationalities (two Italians, one American, one French, all the rest were Indonesian) on board. Those people are believed to be mostly airline employees (the potential buyers– representatives from Indonesia’s Batavia, Pelita, Air Aviastar, and Sriwijaya Air) invited by Sukhoi to this demo flight in the hope of buying the airplane which Sukhoi is trying to sell on the global market. Indonesia has been a potential breakout selling location due to the country’s aging fleet and growing demand for air travel. 8 SuperJets have been in operation with Aeroflot and Armenian Armavia for more than a year now with only minor incidents.

At 14:12 (21 minutes into the flight) it requested approval for descending from 10.000 ft to 6.000 ft from air traffic control. While starting the descent, the plane disappeared from radar screens near Bogor, a city in West Java province, near Mount Salak (7,200ft, 2,200m), a volcano south of Jakarta – a blogger with the Sukhoi delegation said. Juanda, a villager who lives near the mountain, told local TV: “I saw a big plane passing just over my house.” “It was veering a bit to one side, the engine roaring. It seemed to be heading toward Salak, but I didn’t hear an explosion or anything.” BBC reports that Jocean Bowler, an American running an organic farm on the slopes of the mountain, which is a popular tourist destination, said: “Salak’s a big mountain, I didn’t hear anything.

Emergency services confirmed a Sukhoi plane was missing and two helicopters were dispatched to find the jet. The plane is believed to have had about four hours’ fuel aboard, the BBC’s Karishma Vaswani reports from Jakarta, but as darkness fell, the helicopter search was called off due to dusk and unpredictable weather, but rescuers continued looking for the plane on the ground, he said….

The latest reports suggest the mobile phones of at least two passengers are working, though nobody has picked up. “A call waiting tone can be heard, but nobody is answering,” the director of Angkasa Aviation magazine says, as cited by Detik.com. Two employees of Angkasa, Didi Yusuf and Dodi Aviantara, were reportedly onboard the missing plane. The aircraft is believed to be one of two company prototypes being used for sales and marketing promotion tours. The missing aircraft’s registration number is SN95004.

UPDATE: Thursday morning teams searching for the plane spotted debris from the Sukhoi Superjet 100 at a height of about 5,800 feet (1,800 meters) on the side of Mount Salak, around 1.5km (one mile) from the spot where the plane last made radio contact, and the Sukhoi logo had been identified amid the wreckage – said Daryatmo, head of the National Search and Rescue Agency. There was no sign of any passengers but rescuers were preparing to drop a team from a helicopter onto the ridge to search for survivors, a military official said. No bodies have been found at the scene, but human remains found will be taken to hospitals for DNA tests. Experts say that survival chances are very low given that the crash seem to have happened on the nearly vertical side of a very steep mountain cliff.

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev established a special commission to investigate the accident.

The Superjet, a mid-range airliner that can carry up to 100 people, is military plane-maker Sukhoi’s first commercial aviation plane. This particular Sukhoi Superjet 100 airplane arrived in Jakarta as part of a demonstration tour of six Asian countries. It had been to Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, and was due to visit Laos and Vietnam after Indonesia, Russian RIA Novosti said.

The first completely new Russian Passenger Aircraft since the Cold War was created by a joint venture, majority-owned by Sukhoi, with Italy’s Finmeccanica and a number of other foreign and Russian firms also involved. 170 of the type has been ordered by airlines so far, with 8 delivered to Aeroflot and Armavia. It gained European Aviation Safety Agency certification in early February and Sukhoi was aiming to sell 42 such planes in Indonesia.

by balint01

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Aeroflot to fly Sukhoi Superjet on International Routes

Aeroflot, the first Russian operator of the latest Russian passenger jetliner, the Sukhoi Superjet is introducing the plane to international routes after the initial domestic routes.

SkyTeam member Aeroflot has been using the Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ100) only on domestic routes so far, but launched it for international services on December 4, 2011 with the first SSJ flight between Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport and Oslo in Norway. They have also revealed that the aircraft is expected to fly from Moscow to Budapest in Hungary as well, raising the international routes flown by the SuperJet to two.

The fact that the SSJ100 started to serve international routes of Aeroflot reflects the confidence of the airline in the reliability of our aircraft. We believe that the SSJ100 aircraft will efficiently serve both international and domestic routes of Aeroflot and will do our best to make sure that the growing fleet of SSJ100 meets the expectations of the airline,” Sukhoi Civil Aircraft president Vladimir Prisyazhnyuk said.

The largest Russian air company has 30 Superjets on order, and currently operates three SSJ100s, which serve routes to St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Astrakhan, Chelyabinsk, Kazan, Anapa, Perm and Minsk. Aeroflot was the SSJ100’s first Russian customer and took first delivery in May, only one month after launch customer Armenian Armavia introduced the first ever SSJ100 in April.

by balint01

First Sukhoi SuperJet Delivered to Armavia

Armavia – the private Armenian carrier – took delivery of the first production Sukhoi Superjet 100 (registration number EK95015 for Armavia), at Zvartnots International Airpot in Yerevan on April 20, 2011 – nearly three years after the jet’s maiden flight. The aircraft was christened “Yuri Gagarin” in memory of the first cosmonaut who orbited Earth fifty years and one week ago. The Armenian carrier holds two firm orders plus two options.

This is definitely a great milestone for the Russian aerospace industry, because this SSJ100 is in fact the first production aircraft of modern Russia, created in partnership with worldwide aerospace leaders,” said Armavia owner Mikhail Bagdasarov.  United Aircraft Corp. President and Sukhoi Holding General Director Mikhail Pogosyan added, “The delivery of the first production aircraft is the key milestone of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 Project. The event opens a new stage of the program—the beginning of commercial operation and full-scale serial production.

Launch customer Aeroflot holds firm orders for 30 SSJ100s plus 15 options – but it is not clear why Armavia has taken delivery of the first aircraft if Aeroflot is designated as the launch customer. The only possible reason may seem that Aeroflot’s original delivery time has passed by now – and the Russian Flag Carrier is in the middle of a process to file for penalties with Sukhoi Co. – not only for being late with delivery, but also for delivering a plane with different technical specifications than originally contracted. With this delivery, Sukhoi at least could fulfill its contract with Armavia though – and will only be penalized by one of its customers, instead of two. It looks like Armavia was easier in accepting the slightly changed specifications as well.

The aircraft, which officially rolled out on Sept. 26, 2007, completed its maiden flight on May 19, 2008 in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and obtained IAC AR Type Certificate on February 3rd, this year. Armavia plans to utilize the aircraft on service to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Ukraine. It operates a fleet of three A320s, three A319s, one CRJ200, IL-86 and one YaK-42.

Sukhoi plans to deliver one more SSJ100 to Armavia and 11 SSJ100s to Aeroflot this year. The first aircraft for Aeroflot is due to be delivered in about a month, mid-May-2011.

by balint01

Malev Hungarian Airlines Orders Sukhoi Superjets

The 2009 Paris Air Show has just begun today, with the expectation of no major aircraft orders due to the current economic crisis. Airbus and Boeing are still in the net cancellations for 2009, and they are not expecting any major orders this week.

But the economic crisis may be helping smaller, upcoming aircraft manufacturers to record some orders – as they can probably stay cheaper than the two major global companies. One of them is the new Russian Sukhoi Superjet, that has reportedly gained 30 orders from Malév Hungarian Airlines today. Sukhoi Superjet International has announced that it closed a deal with oneworld member Malev for 30 Sukhoi Superjet 100s (15 firm + 15 options), as Martin Gauss, CEO of Malév and Alessandro Franzoni, CEO of Superjet International have signed a letter of intent today at Le Bourget. It is not yet known whether it’s a complete purchase or a leasing deal, but the deal’s value is said to be in excess of 1 billion USD. According to the plans, the first aircraft would arrive at Malév in 2011, and 6 would follow each year. The Hungarians are the first known “Western” customers for the type, which marks its entry into the skies of the European Union – therefore it is a very important announcement for Sukhoi.

Sukhoi Superjet Revealed - by Reuters

The Superjet was revealed in September 2007, but then fell behind original plans and got delayed, similar to other new aircrafts in the 21st century, but finally took to the skies on its first flight in June 2008. Malev has been tied with a possible order earlier, but this seems to be confirmed today.

Malév Hungarian Airlines currently operates a short-haul fleet with 18 Boeing 737 NGs making up most of the fleet and the turboprop Bombardier Q400 taking the regional role (replacing Fokker-70’s as those are being phased out). The question unanswered at the moment is whether the two-class configured SJJ100’s would be introduced as the third aircraft type or would replace either the 737s or the Q400s. We hope these 30 will be additional, as the 98 seat Superjet would not be able to take the role of the 737-700 and -800s that can carry up to 140 and 180 passengers respectively.

The deal itself may sound a surprise to some, but given the fact that the Russian state-owned Vnyesekonombank holds a minority stake in Malév and has been postponing its promised capital injection, this order for the Russian aircraft type may be part of the behind-the-scenes inter-government deal pushed down the throat of the ailing Hungarian state carrier.

by balint01

Sukhoi Superjet: First Flight

We have followed eariler developments around the Sukhoi Superjet for some time now, and there are good news following the on-time roll-out last year and the delay announced earlier in 2008. Yes, the Sukhoi Superjet has flown for the first time, more than a month ago by now, actually.

Sukhoi SuperJet landing after first flight - C by KNAAPO

Picture posted by EYKD on the Airliners.net forum.

It’s interesting to learn how many and what kind of stages of testing take place before the first flight. Sukhoi went through its first taxi and run tests of the new regional aircraft, where the run tests featured a gradual speed increase up to 162 kph, which is close the actual speed required for takeoff. Chief Test Pilot Alexander Yablontsev said the aircraft “is easy to control and very good in ergonomics.” The testing was performed at the Flight Test Center in Komsomolsk, where a series of ground tests of the main systems with running engines have been also conducted. Prior to the first flight, the aircraft also undergone shimmy tests, low and high speed taxi runs to test the landing gear stability and high-speed runs to check steering and brakes, with liftoff of the nose gear.

Sukhoi SuperJet during test taxi runs - C by TIKHV

Falling 6 months behind Sukhoi’s original plan to fly the SuperJet at the end of 2007, the new airplane finally took to the skies on 20MAY2008, for about 40 minutes, performing 4 circuits around the airfield at various altitudes, reaching up to 1,200 m.

The first flight should boost interest and marketing image for the aircraft but there are still no news about any new confirmed Western customers.

by balint01

Sukhoi Superjet Also Delayed

It seems like no new aircraft in the 21st century can be developed according to the first announced schedules. Following the almost 2 year delay of the Airbus A380 superjumbo which had wiring problems and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner which is facing a still growing delay due to supply chain problems in the production of the composite airframe (originally it was planned to be delivered in about two months to its launch customer – but still has not ever taken off…) here are the latest news about the Russian Sukhoi Superjet being delayed…

Sukhoi Superjet Revealed - by Reuters

As we reported earlier, the Sukhoi Superjet was revealed on 26SEP2007, when they claimed the rolled out aircraft was basically ready to fly about two months later. Back then on the ceremony it was announced that “the first flight will take place before the year end,” and they have also pointed out that they are on schedule, unlike the above mentioned A380 or the 787… Then came the news yesterday, that the Russian manufacturer announced: “Technical problems will postpone delivery of the first Sukhoi Superjet indefinitely.”

First deliveries to launch customer Aeroflot originally were slated to begin by late 2008. Aeroflot has already removed the Tupolev Tu-134 aircraft from service to make room for the first SSJ’s to arrive which are due to replace the aging mid-sized airplane. “The airplane is currently in the final testing stages and it will make its first flight within a month,” Alexei Fyodorov, CEO of United Aircraft Building Corp., told RIA Novosti. “Our specialists are working round the clock to meet our obligations to contractors.” We can only hope that this “within a month” will now be real, as it is crucial for the SSJ to show a positive image to the World Market, that it plans to conquer. Airbus and Boeing are stronger and larger players to manage such delays, but for Sukhoi being a new entrant, it is very important to show professionalism to its (future) customers. To date, the 78 and 98 seat version aircraft has collected 73 firm orders and 46 options, mostly from Russian customers.

If we think about it a little more, these delays even sound understandable, as the aircraft market today sells planes for deliveries in 5-6 or even more years down the road. All manufacturers are therefore pressured to announce a new plane as soon as possible with as soon delivery dates as possible, in order to not lose possible customers. If you announce a certain date and then are forced to pay a penalty, it’s still better than losing the whole business to another plane which is already on the market, or has promised an even earlier delivery date… This way at least you do have the business. Tough competition and not normal market conditions have led to this stage, but it’s the airline customers that go into a more and more uncertain future with such an emerging tendency. They need to plan fleet strategies, networks and even schedules ahead – when counting with the new airplanes which are then delivered only a few years late…

It will be interesting to follow the developments of the new Chinese Regional Jet, the Japanese Mitsubishi Regional Jet as well as the new Bombardier C-Ceries – will they be on schedule with their new programs or can we make a new rule: “New Aircraft development projects in the 21st century are always behind schedule”?

by balint01

Sukhoi Superjet Revealed

As we have promised in our previous article on the Sukhoi Superjet we are here to inform you about the rollout of the first Sukhoi Superjet 100 which is ready to fly. The ceremony took place earlier today in Russia’s Far East, where part of Sukhoi’s massive Komsomolsk plant has been converted from sleek fighter jet production to civilian use with a target of 5-6 airliners a month by 2010. This is the first rollout of a new Russian passenger airplane since the Soviet Union collapsed, and thus marked as a historical event in Russia. The city of Komsomolsk was once sealed off from the world, as a nerve centre of Soviet submarine and fighter production. Now it will be revitalized in a real international way, with the help of this new production line.

Sukhoi Superjet Revealed - by Reuters

The Sukhoi Superjet is the first regional jet to be unveiled in the 21st century, and is claimed to be the most efficient and most environmentally friendly jet in its category on the market (78-98 passengers). The rollout ceremony was attended by representatives of three participating countries: Russia, France and Italy. Mikhail Pogosyan, Sukhoi Company’s CEO, said: “Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a child of thousands of people around the globe, committed to the project success with their hearts and souls. It took us all six and a half years to get here, overcoming skepticism and finding our way in translation of international rules of play to Russian aerospace industry and incorporating world industry standards in it. Have a look at the aircraft – I’m sure, it was worth it.

The revealed aircraft airframe is basically ready for the flight tests: the fuselage, the wings and the engines are attached together, all the major systems are built-in, the avionics blocks installation is under completion while the pilot cockpit already holds all panels, indicators, side-sticks, thrust levers and pedals. In the coming two months the aircraft is due to be ready for flight tests, but during that time, the static tests being performed in TsAGI (Zhukovsky) should be completed. Among the most important strategic partners of Sukhoi in this project are: Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company and Boeing (fulfilling a consultant role since the launch of the program).

Russia aims to secure at least 10% of the world airliner market with the new passenger jets and to take third place among aircraft-producing countries by 2015-2018.

As Reuters reported, while targeting the world market, the Superjet will replace Russia’s fast ageing Soviet-made fleet of Tupolev Tu-134 and Yakovlev Yak-42 planes on domestic routes with a longer range of 4,550 km (2800 miles). Having pre-sold 73 aircraft mainly to Russian airlines, it aims to lift the order book to 100 planes with a catalogue value of $2.8 billion by the end of this year, which Sukhoi hopes will include at least one more Western Operator (besides Italian ItAli Airlines with an order of 10 planes).

Sukhoi Superjet Revealed - by Reuters

Ultimately it aims to sell 1,000 planes with 700 of them going to global export markets and it hopes to get European and U.S. certification during 2008. That would put Sukhoi in direct competition with Brazil’s Embraer and Bombardier of Canada, which dominate the 70-100 seat aircraft market today. The maiden flight is expected before the end of the year, Sukhoi said and so far they have been on schedule, unlike Airbus’ A380 and Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. It says the Superjet will have 10-15 percent lower operating costs than either Bombardier or Embraer models.

According to Reuters, Russian President Vladimir Putin is merging civilian and military aircraft makers into a state-controlled umbrella company called United Aviation Corporation (Ilyushin and Tupolev are already included) and hopes to rival European Airbus and US Boeing by 2025.

Sukhoi hopes the development dollars and civil technology of its outside suppliers will attract Western airlines who may otherwise be reticent about buying a Russian aircraft. It is also under-cutting rivals with a price of $28 million per plane, which is lower than a CRJ from Bombardier or an E-Jet from Embraer. But there could be other “silent” supporters of Sukhoi’s entry to the Western Airline Market, such as Mr. Boris Abramovic of AiRUnion, who has a controlling stake in Malev Hungarian Airlines as well, which operates in the EU. According to reports in the Hungarian Media today, Mr. Abramovic (present at the unveiling ceremony) has expressed at the event that Malev is already looking into the possibilty of purchasing 15 Superjets. Replacing the regional fleet of Malev with one type instead of the two types operated at the moment (Fokker-70’s and CRJ-200’s) sounds like a rational step, and knowing that AiRUnion has already ordered 15 of the smaller (75 seat) version of the SSJ-100, it forecasts that such a decision may be expected in the first half of 2008 from the Hungarian airline.

by balint01


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