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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

Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburg’s answer to the United States’ popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genre’s authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBA’s newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is “Handmade in Germany,” an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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