Early November was marked with transporting the airframe of Sukhoi Superjet 100 – extended-range aircraft. The load had to be delivered to the Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute (hereinafter called TsAGI) to perform a variety of endurance tests. It was decided to carry the undocked airframe on AN-124 Ruslan aircraft.
The unique transportation took place on November 06. The superjet (serial number 95075) was successfully delivered to Ramenskoye airfield, Zhukovsky. The parties involved in transportation mentioned that the flight had gone off without a hitch, and only loading/unloading the bulky airframe had presented a serious challenge.
It was required to handle it with great care, therefore the transport specialists had to do their best to draw up a loading/unloading plan. Luckily, this part of operation also ended well.
It is worth mentioning that the airframe unloading was witnessed by dozens of people (including TsAGI engineers and transportation parties) who were shooting the process with their smartphones. After all, the huge Sukhoi Superjet 100 emerging from the immense inside of AN-124 Ruslan is not something you see every day!
In several days TsAGI announced attachment of the aircraft body, half-wing and tail units. The loading complex and instrumentation were installed soon afterwards. Then TsAGI specialists proceeded to testing of the extended-range aircraft. In particular, they have planned complete testing of all primary structural members of the airframe under various and repeated loads to be definitely exerted on the aircraft in the course of regular flights (for example, turbulence).
The testing is aimed to show whether the actual airplane age meets the reported age. Note that according to the manufacturer the age of Sukhoi Superjet 100 makes at least 70,000 flight hours as well as 54,000 takeoffs/landings.
“The testing will cover all primary structural members of the aircraft under repeated load corresponding to all flight operation modes, including turbulent field”, as stated by Vladimir Lavrov, chief structural engineer of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. Test results shall confirm both specified age of the airplane and developed program for periodic inspection of such aircraft while in operation in Clients’ fleet”.
Should the aircraft pass all the tests, it may appear in several Russian airlines in the near future.