Russia’s air traffic has been quite restricted since February 24, 2022. Airplanes and spare parts are difficult to obtain due to the sanctions. And since the closure of large parts of European airspace, many destinations can no longer be reached at all or can only be reached via detours. One answer to some of these problems is said to be self-produced aircraft.

But their offer is limited – as is their reach. Manufacturer Irkut wants to tackle the latter. She plans to increase the range of the Superjet. This emerges from a statement by the Russian aviation authority Rosaviatsiya.

“At the request of Irkut, a significant change in the basic design of the superjet has been approved,” it says. This consists of “the installation of an additional fuel system with increased capacity”. The change is aimed at expanding the aircraft’s range of services, i.e. “increasing its flight range.” This in turn opens up the possibility of opening up new destinations. In the basic version, the range is 3046 kilometers.

Russia has also wanted to make the Superjet more Russian for a long time. And now even faster than originally planned. So far, the aircraft still flies with engines that are manufactured with a Western European partner and have to be serviced in Europe. And that is not possible because of the sanctions. Tests for the Russian PD-8 engines are to be completed this year, according to Sergey Chemezov, head of the Irkut mother company Rostec.

“We assume that this year we will complete all tests of the PD-8 engine in order to receive type certification.” The situation is similar with other systems and units of the aircraft, Chemezov told Ria Novosti news agency. Then you will start with the series delivery of the Superjet New, as the Russified Superjet is called.

However, the Superjet will never get by completely without foreign parts, Chemezov’s deputy recently admitted. Vladimir Artyakov admitted that a small proportion of the parts for the Superjet New will still have to be imported. “But our partners will always help us in this matter,” said the manager. He did not explain which parts are involved and which partners are meant.

This article was written by Laura Frommberg

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The original of this article “Russian superjet flies with European engines – that should change” comes from aeroTelegraph.