Aesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 5700 posts, RR: 9 Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 1985 times:
Interesting. Most of the orders seem to be Russian, but this in fact is a good thing for the plane, because they're more likely to materialize, and the manufacturer has to start from home. Then the plane can prove itself, and an international maintenance network be established, should it gain interest from other countries.
Another interesting point is that only the wing will be composite, meaning either that a composite fuselage is too difficult to produce for Irkut, or that it doesn't provide a significant gain (as has already been argued for Boeing and Airbus future narrowbodies).
Finaly, about the Russian powerplant, could someone in the know answer this : are they capable of matching (or approaching) western engines ? I'm pretty sure Chinese manufacturers aren't.
[Edited 2010-10-29 17:23:06]
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams