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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

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of today’s seminar is “Grammar Practice.”


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at “Professional Growth,” a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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