Russian MC-21 and other planes competing to crack the Airbus and Boeing commercial jet duopoly

The Irkut MC-21 is a twin-engine short- to mid-range Russian jet airliner with a capacity of 150-212 passengers. The MC-21 is being developed and to be produced by Irkut and Yakovlev Design Bureau of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) group. It was formerly known in English as MS-21.

The MC-21 is a replacement for the the Tupolev Tu-154 and Tupolev Tu-204/214s. The MC-21 certification and delivery was initially planned by 2016, but later delayed to the end of 2018.

The -300 was rolled-out on 8 June 2016 in Irkutsk, East Siberia, six years after program launch and with 175 orders. It could be the first commercial aircraft with an out of autoclave composite manufacturing for its wings. The program faces domination of the single-aisle market by Airbus and Boeing and Russian protectionism hampering critical western suppliers for the avionics, landing gear, hydraulics, power systems and engines

Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) believes that the MC-21 airliner being developed by its Irkut subsidiary will prove to be a worthy challenger to other new generation narrowbodies, such as the Airbus A320neo, the Boeing 737 Max, Bombardier’s CSeries and Comac’s C919.

The MC-21-300 model can seat between 160 and 212 passengers depending on cabin configuration. This variant will be powered by Pratt and Whitney’s PW1400G Geared Turbofan. Customers will be able to opt for Russian-made Aviadvigatel PD-14 turbofans.

About half the MC-21’s structure will consist of composite materials, mainly used for the wings and empennage.

Azerbaijan Baku-based AZAL Airlines has signed a letter of intent with Russia’s Ilyushin Finance Co. to lease MC-21 aircraft—the exact number will be disclosed after the MC-21’s first flight, as well as other details of the deal.

Through 2018, Irkut plans to assemble four MC-21s, while in 2023 it intends to assemble up to 70 aircraft per year, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

Irkut currently has 175 order the MC-21- made almost exclusively by Russian airlines and leasing companies.

Russia’s UAC president Yury Slusar was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying RUB100 billion ($1.5 billion) has been invested in the project to date. Out of this sum, 80% is state money and 20% comes from manufacturer investments.

Russian Rostec’s Technodinamika Holding, which provides MC-21 landing gear actuating cylinders, said after the roll-out ceremony it could replace some Western-built systems on the aircraft.

Boeing 737 MAX unit cost of US$80.6–116.6 million in 2015.
The Airbus A320neo has a wider price range of US$75.1–125.7 million

There are several other planes that are trying to crack the Boeing and Airbus commercial airplane duopoly

The Bombardier C-Series is Airbus’ and Boeing’s most prominent rival. Although the Canadian airplane maker has long-been a major player in regional airliners, the C-Series is the first time the company has had to compete against the US and European titans .

The Bombardier airliner has, thus far, struggled to net the level of sales as the 737 and the A320. But the C-Series has garnered critical acclaim for its performance, fuel efficiency, and design.

The C-Series lineup consists of two variants of the plane. The 133-seat CS100 and the 160-seat CS300 In the marketplace, the C-Series competes against the Boeing 737MAX7 and the Airbus A319neo.

Embraer is also a major regional airliner powerhouse that’s moving up to the big leagues to compete against Airbus and Boeing. Embraer’s contender is the second generation of the company’s E-Jet called the E2. Even though the first generation airplane made a living mostly with regional airlines, Embraer is marketing the the second generation as a smaller alternative to the A319 and the mAX7.

The E2 lineup comprises three variants – the 88-seat E175-E2, the 106-seat E190-E2, and the 132-seat E195-E2.

The E2 is powered by two versions of Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan engine.

The Embraer E-Jet E2 is expected to enter service in 2018. The Brazilian airplane maker currently has roughly 270 orders for its latest jet.

The Mitsubishi MRJ is Japan’s first native commercial airliner in 50 years. The MRJ or Mitsubishi Regional Jet lineup is made up of the 80-seat MRJ70 and the 92-seat MRJ90. Although the MRJ variants are much smaller any of the offerings from Airbus or Boeing, the plane represents a domestic alternative for a country whose airlines have long been one of Boeing’s most loyal customers.

The MRJ will also be powered by Pratt and Whitney’s geared turbofan engine. The Mitsubishi airliner is expected to enter service in 2018. The company currently has more than 220 orders for the MRJ.

COMAC ARJ21 is China’s first modern airliner. COMAC or Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, was founded in 2008 to design and produce indigenous airplanes for the country’s burgeoning airline industry.

According to Boeing, Chinese airlines are expected to order more than 6,300 airplanes over the next 20 years with a total value topping $1 trillion.

The ARJ21 is a 90-seat regional airliner designed for short-to-medium range duty It’s powered by a pair of General Electric CF34-10A engines The Chinese government-owned company currently has almost 350 orders for the plane -.. Mostly from domestic airlines and leasing companies. The ARJ21 entered service late last year.

The C919 is COMAC’s first mainline jet designed to go head-to-head with the A320neo and the 737 MAX. The 168-seat jet is expected to be powered by a pair of CFM LEAP-1C engines.

Thus far, COMAC has 517 orders for the C919 with almost all of them from Chinese operators. The Shanghai-built airliner is expected to make its first flight next year and enter service some time after 2020.

SOURCES- ATWonline, Wikipedia, china aviation daily