The first flying prototype ... has completed the first low-speed taxi trial in the run-up to the maiden flight.
The tests are being conducted at Irkut Corporation’s Irkutsk Aviation Plant flight testing facility.
Preparations for the first flight are on schedule, the company says. Ground checks are being run on the airliner’s systems, powerplants, and auxiliary power unit. The aircraft has yet to complete high-speed taxi tests.
The first MC-21-300 flying prototype was rolled out on April 28. It is expected to perform its maiden flight before the end of May.
The Russian narrow-body airliner Irkut MC-21, boldly advertised by the manufacturer to have a greater economic efficiency than Airbus and Boeing commercial jets, has another barrier on its way to mass production, previously expected in 2020. The main specificity of MC-21 − a prolonged wing, called the “black wing”, turns out to have American composites that are now unlikely to arrive due to the imposed US sanctions.
On December 10, 2018, Russian media Kommersant reported that US sanctions halted the supplies of Russian twinjet Irkut MC-21 composite materials. With reference to anonymous source, Kommersant wrote that after Washington imposed sanctions on Russian company Aerocomposit (which is a part of United Aircraft Corporation, UAC), delivery of parts coming from American Hexcel and Japanese Toray Industries was abandoned.
According to the source, the composite wing supply cut off would affect aircraft entrance to market date, delaying it for up to five years. “Now there is an option to use either Chinese composites, that are twice thicker and heavier, or wait for Russian enterprises to create something similar", Kommersant source suggested.