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Russia's First MC-21 Airliners to Be Powered by Foreign Engines

Published: August 30, 2014 (Issue # 1826)



  • An artist's rendering of the MC-21.
    Photo: United Aircraft Corporation

Russia's next-generation civilian airliner will initially have to rely on foreign engines, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin lamented on Friday, but said that the country is on the verge of making a breakthrough in engine technology.

"Unfortunately, the first [three] new MC-21 aircraft will take off … using engines that were not produced in Russia. Only the fourth will have domestic engines," Rogozin was quoted as saying by Moskovsky Komsomolets.

The grounding of Boeing planes flown by Russian budget airline Dobrolyot by EU sanctions in July has highlighted the need for Russia to switch to homemade designs. Russian airlines are extremely vulnerable to the threat of further sanctions as 90 percent of the planes they use are Boeings and Airbuses leased from the West

"It would be preferable, of course, to not depend on Canadians or on Americans in the field of engine construction, but this is the current situation. We are slightly behind, but we are catching up," Rogozin said after touring the Irkutsk Aviation Plant, where the MC-21 is being developed.

The government has already stepped in to bankroll investment in domestic civil aviation. Two weeks ago it backstopped a 3.3 billion ruble ($92 million) bond issue to finance the continued development of a new engine, the PD-14, which will power the MC-21. This week, it guaranteed a $400 million loan to finish development of the MC-21 by 2017.

But the MC-21 is just the beginning, Rogozin said Friday, with long-haul airliners and new military transport planes powered by Russian engines on the horizon.

"Russia is on the threshold of a major technological breakthrough in the field of aircraft engine design," Rogozin said. "It is important to monitor and maintain this process, because powerful and reliable engines are needed for new aircraft."

Among Russia's plans is a joint project with China to develop a long-haul wide-bodied aircraft that can stand in for the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft that dominate transcontinental and transoceanic routes.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Nov. 28


Join table-top game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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