The first operators of new Russian Superjet aircraft may experience an unpleasant surprise.
As reported by RBC daily, the first liners should undergo a serious inspection after 2000 flights, i.e. after a year of operation.
Sukhoi Superjet-100 (or RRJ-95, as recorded in the jet’s documentation) has received AR IAC type certificate in February 2011. The liner’s EASA certification, which should be completed in 2011, is currently underway. The first serial liner has been delivered to Armenian airline Armavia on April 19th 2011.
According to RBC daily, all the liners manufactured by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCA) with serial numbers from 7 to 19 (these jets are being delivered to Armavia and Aeroflot), will have some airworthiness restrictions by airframe and fuel system. All of these restrictions are described in maintenance manual for RRJ-95B aircraft. That is why SSJ-100 will require more serious technical support than similar foreign liners. Besides the procedures necessary for all the liners, “mandatory refinement of airframe spots” and “elements due to mandatory replacement” are also described in the maintenance manual. As reported by one of RBC daily’s sources, «it is the first time in world’s practice when a jet is certified with such resource constraints».
According to one of the entries, the jet must be grounded for airframe refinement by eight items after 2000 flights (or a year of regional jet’s normal operation with 10 flight hours per day). One of RBC daily’s sources believes, that «in the practice of world’s aircraft industry the refinement – strengthening leads to airframe heaviness or airframe disassembly for elements replacement ». All the aircraft face the refinement level after 10 000 flights or later, the source explains. As for detailed inspection, or maintenance form, they are carried out by 11 items after 200 flights. The main landing gear must be replaced after 10 months of operation. «The case is, that the landing gear has been developed for 75-seater, which is lighter», — the source admits.
The SSJ’s launch customer — Armavia is pleased with the experience of jet’s operation. «The liner includes 90% of fourth-generation elements; it is even more than in the similar Boeing and Airbus aircraft. The liner has already performed 200 flights to Moscow, Teheran, St. Petersburg, Dubai, Athens and other cities. No system failures have been registered except problems with engine’s receiver which has not been designed for such an intense operation», — said CEO of the carrier, Mikhail Bagdasarov.
He did not comment on jet’s service life restrictions, but he said that “the liner is too heavy, but the contract makes provisions for its replacement by the lighter and more efficient one”. «We are satisfied with SSJ-100 and we need to see, how it will prove itself during the first year of operation», — said the Aeroflot’s official representative.
These procedures are suitable for aircraft with serial number under 95019, after that the respective changes will be implemented, the official representative of SCA notes. He reminded that SSJ-100 is an all-new aviation platform and that is why the control of jet’s condition is carried out after 200 flights while the aircraft is being put into operation. «Aircraft 95007 of Armavia has already passed this inspection and it is successfully operated. The inspections after 200 flights make the aircraft grounded for several hours», — SCA explained.
«Such a low initial endurance of some SSJ-100’s components is surprising. For example, the landing gear, which is designed for the whole aircraft service life and should not require any serious maintenance», — said the editor of “Avia.ru” portal, Roman Gusarov. According to him, IAC has taken this SCA-made product very cautiously while presenting the certificate. Let’s see how the Europeans will react while validating the certificate.