Sukhoi Superjet 100: Fatigue Tests in Siberia
The test plane, which is intended to compete against the Antonov An-148, Embraer E-Jets and the Bombardier C Series programs, traveled all the way from KnAAPO (Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association) aboard the An-124 Russlan heavy-lift transport aircraft. Sukhoi’s director general, Mikhail Pogosyan, claims the operating costs of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 will be 15 percent lower than its counterparts and that its wider cabin is far more comfortable. It is also expected to be cheaper by 18 to 22 percent with a catalogue pricing of $27.8 million dollars. On the other hand, Sukhoi Super Jet 100’s two competitors both offer much more comprehensive after-sales and maintenance network.
Fatigue tests will entail that all primary structural components of this modern, fly-by-wire regional jet will be examined and trialed at all flight modes including turbulence. Test results are also expected to validate the existing program on maintenance checks when operating the aircraft within customer fleets. The development of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 is based on the very specific principle of maximum standardization of frame assemblies and systems, and such standardization of design will make it possible to keep expenditures at a reasonable level.
The aerodynamics involved are based on proven advanced technology that minimizes technical risks. The design of the Super Jet 100 meets the specific requirements of airlines in Russia, and most western countries. Sukhoi officially confirmed that first deliveries are to be started in the second half of 2009. No exact date was specified but an anonymous source at Sukhoi reported to Reuters that the certification testing of the plane is expected to finish in the third quarter of 2009.
The success of the Sukhoi Super Jet 100 remains to be seen, but so far, so good.
M Dee Dubroff