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Moscow, Russia - Russian aircraft manufacturer re-launched flight-testing fort the MC-21 narrow-body jet after a temporary suspension as part of the measures to fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

The aircraft made its first test flight on April 20 following these measures. The parent company United Aircraft Corporation states that the manufacturer is taking necessary measures to keep the aircraft's certification program on track despite the ongoing global health crisis. Remote-working is activated for employees, in particular for designers and engineers, who are able to go on their works from home.

The aircraft has so far conducted more than 300 test flights, but 350 flights more at least needed to secure Airworthiness Certification from the Russian regulator.

Tests have been completed for the various AOA (Angle of Attack) maneuvers alongside the assessments of navigation and instrument landing capabilities. Flights have also been carried out for speed thresholds, such as minimum-unstick, and to explore engine-failure scenarios during critical flight phases.

“Significant efforts are currently focused on software development and testing,” says United Aircraft.

There are four MC-21-300 prototypes used for the certification campaign of which two are equipped with passenger cabins – one in a two-class configuration based on 163 seats and the other with a 211-seat all-economy layout.

Each aircraft in the fleet has been updated and improved based on the results of its predecessors’ flight-test results. All of the test planes are fitted with Pratt & Whitney's PW1400G engines, but Irkut is finalizing the assembly of the first airframe that will be powered by PD-14 engines of the Russian engine manufacturer Aviadvigatel.

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