The Irkut MS-21 is a narrowbody twin-engined airliner being developed in Russia. The aircraft seats between 150 and 212 passengers and is in the same size-class as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737.
The Irkut MS-21 ('MC-21' in Russian) is under development by Irkut and the Yakovlev Design Bureau, which are part of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) group. The aircraft was originally a project for a twin-engined version of the Yakovlev Yak-242, based on the existing Yak-42, which has three engines. Probably the new aircraft will be named 'Yak-242' again. The airliner is intended to replace the Tupolev Tu-154 and Tu-204/214. It is designed to comply to western standards to make it attractive to the world market.
A lot of western equipment will be installed, including the engines. Irkut chose the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G (Geared turbofan) as power source. For the Russian domestic market the MS-21 can be fitted with Aviadvigatel PD-14 turbofans. Extensive use is made of composite construction materials.
The cabin is 12 cm wider than that of the Airbus A320 and even 28 cm wider compared with the Boeing 737. This increases passenger comfort and allows for bigger luggage bins and a wider aisle to decrease turn-around times at airports. The passengers sit six-abreast (3+3).
A family of two basic versions is planned. The baseline MS-21-300 will seat up to 180 passengers in a single-class configuration. A second version will be the shortened MS-21-200, seating 153 passengers. A larger family member, the 212-seat MS-21-400 has been dropped, as was the smaller MS-21-100 130-seater to avoid conflict with proposed stretched versions of the Sukhoi Superjet.
The MS-21 was intended to have its maiden flight in 2014, with deliveries to begin in 2016. However, the project suffers delays. The first flight took place on 28 May 2017. At the day of the first flight, Irkut claimed to have firm orders for 175 aircraft.
The first Irkut MS-21 rolled out of the factory on June 8, 2016. (Photo: UAC)