At the International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS) held from 20JUL21-25JUL21 at Zhukovsky Airport near Moscow, Volga-Dnepr boss, Alexey Isaykin expressed his airline Group’s strong interest in becoming the launch customer of a freighter variant of the passenger MS-21-200 (Russian: MC-21-200), designed by the Irkut Corporation. According to production plans, it resembles an A321F or Boeing 737-800F.
Main eyecatcher was a prototype of the MS-21-300, presented to the participants of the Zhukovsky-held Aviation Salon, propelled by Russia-developed PD-14 engines, and made of composites provided
by national Russian suppliers. Visitors took the opportunity to get a personal impression of the new aircraft. Among them, leading managers of the V-D Group, including company CEO, Alexey
Aviation experts believe that the airplane can carve out a niche for itself, provided that the after-sales business works. Apart from some technical shortcomings, this is still a major reason for the ongoing lack of the market success of the Sukhoi-built “Superjet 100”.
Advanced technical features
During their MAKS stay, the Volga representatives praised the extended fuselage of the new passenger airplane, its advanced airframe systems which were developed by leading Russian aviation firms, and the up-to-date technology and electronics: features making the aircraft attractive for operators.
Core topic discussed between the manufacturer and the V-D representatives was Irkut’s consideration to build a cargo variant following the market entry of the passenger version. In the meeting, V-D Chief, Mr. Isaykin expressed his Group’s interest in becoming the launch customer of the projected freighter. Although a clear commitment by Irkut to building the all-cargo aircraft was missing at the show, there is little doubt, however, that the plane maker will go for it.
Regrettably, the communications department of Volga-Dnepr / AirBridgeCargo did not respond to detailed inquiries about the project.
V-D and MAI extend cooperation
Also at MAKS, the Volga-Dnepr Group signed a strategic agreement with the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI). The treaty opens up new opportunities for both parties and includes joint programs to technically enhance the cargo fleet operated by V-D.
Their cooperation will focus on engine diagnostics and predictive diagnostics of aircraft systems. The companies will also pay particular attention to the training of young specialists, retraining, and professional development within the framework of joint educational programs, reads a joint statement.
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