The Supercool Sukhoi Superjet 100

Sukhoi

Superjet 100 seems like a Supergoofy name for an airplane, don’t you think? Come to think of it, the 787’s moniker – Dreamliner – isn’t exactly any better. Anyway, the Superjet 100 is Russia’s first Superserious entry into the commercial aviation market . . . ever.

Back in the good old days, the Russians thrived on copying western aircraft planes and then tweaking them to fit their needs. They’d market it under their own brand name and make every country in their sphere of influence buy the planes. Today, most airlines have abandoned the old Russian planes, but you will still find them in places like Cuba, Russia (duh), and some of the former Soviet republics. Really, the only reason they’re still around is either due to government pressure or because those airlines don’t have the money to buy newer, better planes.

But now we’ve got the Sukhoi Superjet 100 coming on to the scene, and this could be a real contender in the world of regional jets.

The plane is meant to compete with the Embraer 175/190/195 family as well as the Bombardier CRJ-700/900/1000 family. It will come in two or three sizes, depending on what you believe – 60 seats (maybe), 75 seats, and 95 seats. It will meet all Superstrict FAA (US) and JAA (EU) aviation regulations, and it will produce the same levels of noise as its competitors. The engines are a joint venture between Russian NPO Saturn and France’s Snecma (50% partner on the CFM56 – the engine that powers all 737s built in the last 20 years). Oh, and did I mention that Boeing has been a consultant on the project since the early days? FlightGlobal has all the details you could ever want here.

07_06_07 sukhoi

As you can see above, the plane inside will look sort of like an MD-80, Supersuper 80 if you use American’s naming conventions. The seating configuration will be 2 x 3 for a total of 5 across. That will give the regional jet more of a big jet feel. In fact, the cabin is actually 3″ wider than an MD80. It’s also has 3″ more headroom in the aisle. For more measurements, you can compare it to the MD80 cross section below.

07_06_07 m80cross

Even though the insides will look similar, the outsides won’t. The Superjet will have engines under the wings so those sitting in the last rows won’t go deaf like they do on MD80s.

I don’t know much about costs yet, especially since the plane hasn’t taken flight, but I have to imagine it will be competitive at least. So will you see these plying skies around the world soon?

That’s the big question that nobody can answer yet. It’s going to take a lot for western airlines to even think about ordering a Russian plane. I mean, there is a long history of mistrust they’ll have to overcome. Recent escalating tensions between the US and Russia can only hurt the effort. But just looking at its merits, it seems like the Superjet could be the first plane out of Russia to actually have a shot at success. (Not Supersuccess, just regular success.)

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12 comments on “The Supercool Sukhoi Superjet 100

  1. I think this will be a huge hit in the US. Both Lessors and Airlines should be excited about this aircraft. Not only is it going to be more efficient and quiet than the ERJ’s and CRJ’s it will take market share away from the smaller Airbus and Boeing aircraft in current production.

    Regional Jets provide the advantage of price and compatibility with the ever growing reach of the world’s airlines.

  2. Sounds like a very interesting option for new and regional airlines when compared to the EMB 170/190 series. Sokhoi’s and Russians’ reputation will be the most important aspects to solve for making the western airlines trust this new product. Really hope that this aircraft succeeds in capturing the Western market.

  3. Looks good on the paper, but I would not like to be a launch customer of new aircraft made by brand new company from the country which has only experience in military aircraft. The consortium is composed of very ambitious companies, but there are too many hopes and too litle experience behind it to convince airlines and passengers to try.

  4. > Back in the good old days, the Russians thrived on copying western aircraft planes and then tweaking them to fit their needs.

    Tell me, which one was copied?
    AN-125?
    AN-225?
    IL-96?

  5. This aircraft looks interesting. It has all the right names involved, from Boeing on consulting, to Alenia in marketing and finishing, honeywell, BA seating and messier dowty(I’m a bad speller, sorry) also lets face it. Competition is good for business. Would I want to be launch customer in the US, sure why not. At the very least I would put my company in the history books for being the first US airline to buy a Russian aircraft for commercial passengers. As for Sukhoi, they build good quality aircraft, so the only real challenge in my book is the price. Is it competitive or not build a aircraft designed for western standards in Russia? I think it will be…..can anyone loan me $100 million to start my own airline:)

  6. Finally a regional jet that won’t feel like one!!!!! This is by far the best regional jet I have seen to date and congrats on finally designing an aircraft withe the passenger in mind!!!!!!!! I would definitely order this aircraft if I stated an airline!!!!!!!!

  7. Boeing ought to give a thought to signing on as a marketer and for service and maintenance support in Western markets. Such a role for Boeing would certainly give the aircraft greater a bit of a credibility boost.

  8. I am convinced that the Russians have come of age.This collaboration between Russians and Western firms will usher in the peace we all need in the world. It is a wake-up call for Embraer and Bombadier to design better and cheaper planes for the world .Unfortunately , Africa was not involved in this credible project .African politicians milk thier people dry and never interested in this type of project that can uplift the image of the black race.

  9. Ese es ubn buen avion,mucho se ha criticado al avion ruso por los que estan acostumbrados a otros modelos pero los aviones rusos son buenos aviones sol tenian un problema el consumo de combustibles si investigan no hay historia de viones rusos qe hayan perdido partes del fuselaje como de otras copañias qe si han tenod muchos desperfectos y sin embargo uno se onta en ellos.Solo es cuestion de informacion,la mayoria de los paises exsocialistas usaron esos aviones rusos por años sin percances,todo producto tiene sus pro y sus contras pero hay que analizar bein las cosas y no tener prejuicios

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