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SSJ100 VIP version certificated

SSJ100 VIPLate November 2014 saw the completion of the certification of a Sukhoi Superjet 100 (RRJ-95B) VIP version by the Aircraft Registry of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC). The developer received a supplementary type certificate confirming the safe flying of the SSJ100 equipped with an enhanced-comfort passenger cabin.

The certificated VIP layout was implemented in SSJ100-95B MSN 95009 ordered by Rosoboronexport JSC from the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company on 27 August 2013 during the MAKS 2013 air show, when the aircraft equipped with a VIP cabin mock-up was unveiled. It conducted its maiden flight on 29 June 2013. The first show of the aircraft with the complete VIP cabin took place at the Jet Expo 2014 exhibition in early September last year.

The cabin is designed to seat 19 passengers. The first and second subcabins, equipped with comfortable furniture, an advanced multimedia system, desks and swivelling seats, are designed for business meetings. The principal's cabin is furnished with the full-fledged working and recreation places and a wardrobe as well. There is a separate lavatory in the tail section, aft of the principal's cabin. The service area comprises the seats for two flight attendants, a galley module, a crew/entourage lavatory and a cabinet for the passengers' baggage.

The cabin layout was tailored to the requirements of a particular customer, but the SSJ100 platform with a large cabin allows responsive implementation of ideas and needs of any customer.

With the tests complete and the supplementary type certificate issued, the first SSJ100-95B VIP plane registered as RA-89053 entered service with the Center-South air carrier. Since the previous spring, it has had two SSJ100-95Bs (RA-89004 and RA-89007) in the standard 87-seat layout (12 business-class seats and 75 seats in economy class) and has been using them actively on charter operations.

RA-89053 flew from Zhukovsky to Sheremetyevo on 9 December 2014 and departed on its first passenger service on the next day, carrying a governmental delegation led by Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov to New Delhi as part of the Russian-Indian summit meeting. The nonstop flight out to 4,735 km took 6 h 5 min. the SSJ100 VIP was unveiled to Indian governmental officials and representatives of civil aviation and aircraft industry at the airport of the Indian capital city on 12 December. SCAC estimates the volume of SSJ100 sales to India in the period until 2030 at about 50 aircraft.

The Superjet's VIP version for Rosoboronexport is the first step under the programme on deriving the Sukhoi Business Jet (SBJ) specialised airliner from the SSJ100 regional passenger aircraft. At Stage 2, advanced technical solutions are planned for gradual introduction in line with the requirements of specific customers. The solutions include an integral aircraft step unit, a satellite communication system and other optional gear. In addition, extra fuel tanks and winglets are expected to be installed at this stage. The phasing-in of technical advances will optimise the Sukhoi Business Jet design further down the line and get feedback from the customers. The VIP, corporate and governmental variants of the plane will be offered. All of them may be outfitted with a separate study for the principal, a conference room and a cabin for the entourage.

"The current version will be improved in the course of operation. The plane will be fitted with extra fuel cells, extending its range out to 6,000-plus km, while a variant with a redesigned wing, winglets and increased fuel cells will be developed in 2016. Its range is expected to be almost 8,000 km. This will be a true evolution of the SSJ100, owing to which new customers will be attracted", says Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov.

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Chairman of the Board Mikhail Pogosyan said: "Business planes are a lucrative, albeit niche, product. We estimate the global business plane fleet to be as follows: 57% are operated by business air carrier, 23% by corporate and private customers and 20% by governmental customers. These are planes for rich people appreciating time and comfort. They have to be able to travel to any corner of the world. No matter where they go, they should have for this purpose a reliable aircraft and comfort they deserve. The Sukhoi Business Jet is designed for this purpose. It is this category of customers that we will supply out product to".

Speaking of the future of the Superjet VIP version, Mikhail Pogosyan said plans provide for gradual introduction of individual technical solutions in line with the requirements spelt out by specific customers (integral aircraft step unit, shower cabinets, etc.). "Work is underway on refining the fuel system now. The improvements are slated for certification by late 2016. The installation of extra fuel cells will extend the range out to almost 8,000 km", he said, stressing: "Working out an approximate list price of the product and realising that the cost of the interior is important to business aircraft, we expect offer a 10% advantage over our closest competition, the Embraer Lineage 1000. Thus, the cost of ownership of our plane will be rather attractive".


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