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The Sukhoi Superjet 100: Best Plane in Its Class

The Irish company CityJet will lease 15 Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliners because it is reliable, fuel-efficient and extremely comfortable, says Valery Yelenev, Director of the Samara University’s Aviation Technology Institute.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) —  The lease of the Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 short-haul airliner shows it is superior to other planes in its class, says Valery Yelenev, Director of the Samara National Research University’s Aviation Technology Institute.

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This is the first Russian airliner to be offered on the global market in many years, Yelenev said as he praised the plane’s specifications and performance. The plane outperforms rivals like the Embraer 190, the Bombardier Q400 and the Antonov An-148 in some respects. Yelenev singled out the plane’s impressive aerodynamic performance, which is based on a design by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft and the Professor Zhukovsky Central Aero Hydro Dynamic Institute (TSAGI). He believes that the SSJ 100 outperforms the others in terms of specific wing loads that are adapted to various flight modes.

The plane’s improved fuel efficiency is due to superior aerodynamics and a new engine. “To be honest, earlier Russian planes were inferior to their foreign equivalents in this respect,” he noted. Quite possibly, the Irish airline was influenced by this and other criteria, he added.

Yelenev also mentioned the plane’s low cost as a major advantage. This model is less expensive than other planes with seating for up to 100 passengers,” he noted. Political considerations sometimes prevail over economic factors when contracts of this kind are signed. According to Yelenev, common sense has prevailed this time. “Political considerations have been put aside, and economics have defeated politics,” he said.

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Passenger comfort levels are another important merit for the plane that is assembled in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, he noted. “This is one of the most comfortable planes in its class. Although the SSJ 100 ranks among narrow-fuselage airliners, its fuselage is larger those of its direct rivals. This provides passengers with more comfortable seats, larger luggage racks, leg room is increased by almost 8 centimeters, and the passenger compartment is over two meters high,” he noted.

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft has manufactured over 100 SSJ 100s to date, Yelenev noted. “One hundred aircraft means that serial production is already underway. Naturally, technologies and the production process will be upgraded,” he added.

The SSJ 100 first flew in May 2008. It is currently in service with Aeroflot, Gazprom Avia, Yakutia Airlines and Red Wings. Other operators include the Russian Interior Ministry and Mexico’s Interjet airline. CityJet will lease 15 SSJ 100s, with an option for 16 more. The agreement is worth over $1 billion.

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