Aug 17, 2011

SaM146 Enters Service

"We plan quite a huge ramp-up in production of the SaM146 engine for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional airliner," says Marc Sorel, Country Delegate in Russia for Safran, which makes the engine in a joint venture with NPO Saturn.
Plans call for 24 engines to be in service by the end of 2011, "and next year will be another huge ramp-up," he said.
Today, four engines are in scheduled operation on the two Superjets delivered, one each to the Armenian airline Armavia and Russia’s Aeroflot. The third Superjet is expected to be delivered during MAKS 2011.
Sorel said the engine is working well. Armavia has logged 700 hours and carried 11,000 passengers since putting the aircraft into service in April, and it is currently flying six one-hour flights a day. Aeroflot took delivery in June and plans six flights a day, but has suffered two groundings of the aircraft, though not for engine problems, Sorel said.
Armavia grounded its aircraft to change an engine, a process that stretched out to nearly a week due to customs issues, he said. "There are just two aircraft, so this is a very cautious entry into service. We don’t want to take any risks."
"The engine is proving very robust," Sorel noted, and survived an in-flight birdstrike unscathed. "Fuel consumption is exactly what we expected, and the airlines are satisfied." Cabin noise is also very low, he added.
John Morris


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