S-80 to Make Maiden Flight in April
The new 26-seat S-80 aircraft designed by Sukhoi Design Bureau will make its
maiden flight in April, sources in the company reported today.
According to the sources, S-80 was designed to replace the ageing fleet of
Antonov-24, -26 and -28 family planes. The basic version of S-80 will seat 25
passengers and will be capable of flying at the speed of 520 kilometers per hour
in the range of nearly 1200 kilometers.
Construction of at least five new S-80 planes began at a production line of
KnAAPO in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The S-80 program approximately costs between 45
and 50 mln US dollars, including 15-17 mln already spent on the project. S-80`s
price tag is announced 5.5-6 mln US dollars. The sale of 150 airframes is
expected to bring close to 250 mln US dollars. According to analysts, nearly
300-400 of S-80 could be needed in Russia and abroad. S-80 is reported being
requested by Vietnam, Thailand, China and Malaysia.
A S-80 prototype has been already delivered to Moscow from Komsomolsk-on-Amur
and is being prepared for flight tests at the Gromov Lii Flight Research
Institute in Zhukovsky. To expedite introduction of S-80 in commercial service,
KnAAPO and Sukhoi Design Bureau are investing their own funds received from
sales of Su-27 fighters to China and Vietnam. It is assumed that the flight test
program will complete in two years.
In knowledge we trust!