Soviet Union was a major manufacturer of passenger airlines, mainly built by Ilyushin and Tupolev. These aircraft flew with Soviet airlines as well as with airlines of allied countries. However with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, most of these airlines replaced their aircraft with Boeing and Airbus built planes. Russia started on a mission to rebuild the Russian civil aviation industry. They came up with the MC-21 mid range aircraft.

Image Courtesy Reuters

The MC-21 developed and manufactured by the United Aircraft Corporation first flew in May 2017. However, the aircraft was powered by Pratt and Whitney PW-1400G-JM engines from the USA. UAC intended to start deliveries of the MC-21 from 2019, but the deliveries were delayed due to the sanctions imposed by USA on Russia. Several composite parts of the plane had to be developed in Russia as supplies from the west choked. In a bid to overcome such future hindrances, United Engine Corporation started developing a new engine for the MC-21.

The first MC-21 powered by the Russian PD-14 engine took off for trials on 15 December 2020 in Siberia. The trial aircraft was designated as MS-21-310. The PD-14 is a turbofan engine and has been developed by Aviadvigatel under the United Engine Corporation. This engine is based on the PS-90 engine of the company and is 15% more efficient than its predecessor. The first engine was tested on an IL 76 aircraft. The PD 14 has a take off thrust of 137 KN (31,000 lb-f). It has one fan, a three stage Low Pressure (LP) and an eight stage High Pressure (HP) compressor followed by a two-stage HP and six stage LP turbine. The PD-14 engine has a thrust to weight ratio of 4.88 and weighs 2,870 Kg (6,330 lb).

Image courtesy Vitaly Kuzmin

The MC-21 is available in various seating configurations from 130 to 211 passengers. UAC has 175 confirmed orders for the MC-21 aircraft, of which 50 have been ordered by the Russian Aeroflot. These 175 are a mix of aircraft powered by the PD-14 and PWS-1400G-JM engines.

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