Russia’s SJ-100 Begins Flight Testing Without New Russian Engines

The SJ-100 making its maiden flight in August 2023 (Source: United Aircraft Corp.)

Russia’s Yakovlev has begun certification flight tests for its SJ-100, a completely domestic version of the Superjet 100 passenger aircraft. The inaugural 2.5-hour flight took place near Zhukovsky airport, Russia, with five crew members on board.  Engineers evaluated the aircraft’s performance in 15 different modes during this test flight. They also assessed the functionality of its new Russian-made fuel system.

The prototype sports several Russian-built systems replacing their foreign counterparts, but it continues to rely on the PowerJet SaM146 engines found in its predecessor, the Superjet 100.  PowerJet is a joint venture of France’s Safran Aircraft Engines and Russian engine manufacturer NPO Saturn, and export of engine components from Safran to Russia ended in the wake of Russia’s 2022 military operation in Ukraine.

Yakovlev decided to expedite the testing schedule by sticking with the SAM146 while waiting on new Russian-made engines. The program’s two additional prototypes will be equipped with PD-8 engines made by Aviadvigatel, which will be the standard powerplant for future production models of the SJ-100.    

Yakovlev aims for a rigorous testing phase with roughly 200 flights planned by the end of next year.  The SJ-100 program has already completed ground testing on various systems including the landing gear, cockpit displays, flight controls, and doors.

About Doug Royce

A lifelong aviation enthusiast, Douglas Royce is currently co-editor of four of Forecast International's Market Intelligence Services: Civil Aircraft Forecast, Military Aircraft Forecast, Rotorcraft Forecast, and Aviation Gas Turbine Forecast. As such, he plays a key role in many important projects that involve market sizing and forecasting for various segments of the world aerospace industry, as well as demand for related systems.

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