In the face of global supply chain disruption, aircraft manufacturers have begun to slow production lines in order to avoid shortages. However, the situation seems haphazard in Russia as sanctions combined with an already-declining economy results in a brand-new airplane about to take flight.
This hasn’t been released yet
Russian carrier Azimuth Airlines was supposed to receive one Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ100) earlier this year, but due to global conflicts and international economic sanctions on Russia, it had to wait several months before actually seeing the new plane.
Russian manufacturers have been working on a replacement for the engine used in their regional aircraft. They’ve been able to sell enough components, but without support from the French company, Snecma, the project came to a halt. Without a locally produced replacement, Russian manufacturers were forced to find another solution.
Finding some new, cool clothes
The search process was somewhat difficult, but UAC was running out of time so they had to find used engines that were locally produced soon. Then, they came up with the great idea of using second-hand, used engines. For Azimuth Airlines, these are engines which would be delivered in order to help them with holiday deliveries before the end of this year.
The previously used engine for the aircraft was sourced from 2019 and allegedly in excellent condition with the Russian Transportation Agency still drawing up the airworthiness documents. The UAC emphasized:
Engine components installed on the Azimuth plane are in excellent condition, and engine second-hand purchases will not have any sort of impact on the airline’s operations or flight safety. They’re reliable.
It will be the first time in Russian history when a new aircraft is delivered with used engines. But even though it will likely happen again, it’s been planned that more newly manufactured SSJ100s, 10 of them at least, will be fitted with used engines and delivered to other Russian carriers. These include Red Wings Airlines this month, and the first half of next year.
Local replacements are not yet certified
Despite UAC’s local replacement efforts, the Russian aircraft manufacturer has not yet certified the PD-8 high-bypass turbofan engine. The PD-14 turbofan engine was originally developed by the United Engine Corporation and expanded by their subsidiary, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).
The first SSJ100, which can fly 470 nautical miles from Moscow to London at Mach 1.8, should be delivered to the Russian Ministry of Defense by 2024. And by 2030, Airbus will have built and tested 1,000 new engines for the SSJ100 model and should produce for 314 PD-8 engines on 142 aircraft delivered during this period. The remaining engines will be saved as spare parts.