Russia’s maiden jet flight aims to break Boeing, Airbus duopoly

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On Sunday, Russia’s Irkut Corporation manufactured MS-21 medium-range passenger plane made its maiden test flight. The test flight marks Russia’s entry into mainline commercial aircraft manufacturing to rival Western manufacturers.

Irkut Corporation, in a statement said that the MS-21-300 model had successfully completed a 30 minute flight at a height of 1,000 meters and travelling at 300 kmph.

The test flight comes after China’s first test flight of its own passenger aircraft, the C919. The Russian and Chinese efforts aim to break into the aviation industry that has long been dominated by Boeing and Airbus.

There is significant interest in the MS-21-300 and the MS-21-200 from Eastern European and Asian airliners due to the lower purchase and operating costs of the aircraft. State defence conglomerate, Rostec, has agreed to purchase 85 aircraft, with 50 being leased to Russian airliner, Aeroflot.