Forecast 2022: IRKUT

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By Bjorn Fehrm


January 24, 2022, © Leeham News: IRKUT became the Airliner company in Russia's United Aircraft Corporation when the Superjet project was transferred from Sukhoi in February 2020.

The rationale was to focus the new single-aisle MC-21 and the regional Superjet in one entity where the needed investment in after-sales support, a chronic weakness of Russian aircraft, could be concentrated.

The MC-21 is the most advanced of the world's single-aisle designs, with a  roomy fuselage and a composite wing. But this, the market's best design, has the worst chances for success. We go through why.


  • The MC-21 has a fuselage design that makes it roomier without causing extra drag or weight.
  • It also has the most advanced wing, an out-of-autoclave resin infusion design, the type which Airbus is aiming for in the "Wing of Tomorrow" project.
  • But despite the best technology, it has the slimmest market chances. It has little to do with the aircraft itself.

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