MC-21 is a Russian made passenger jet aircraft that is being developed by Irkut Corporation. The aircraft is expected to replace old Soviet planes such as the Tu-154, Il-62, Tu-204 that cannot compete with Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 series. These western made aircrafts have got more efficient jet engines and modern avionic equipment. They are also lighter thus more fuel efficient. To match Western aircrafts, Russian engineers implement a lot of innovations in their new plane. For them, MC-21 is a serious project. It features supercritical aerofoil wings that are made of composite fibers. The wings become lighter, strong and cheaper to manufacture.
The MC-21 airplane will be driven by the American Pratt and Whitney PW1400G jet engine whose by pass ratio is 12:1. The turbofan engine spends 15% less fuel compared to CFM56 that has been used in a lot of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 series. The Russian government have financially supported the development of PD-14 engine manufactured by Aviadvigatel. This domestic engine has got 8.5:1 by pass ratio that is significantly higher than the 5.5:1 by pass ratio of CFM56 manufactured jointly by Safran and GE under a joint venture company CFM International. The market for single aisle narrow body airplanes is still dominated by the duopoly of Airbus and Boeing. In addition to Russia, China is also developing its Comac C919 that uses General Electric's CFM Leap 1-C jet engines. China is also developing its own jet engines.
For smaller regional jet planes, the competition is even tougher with more international players such as Sukhoi Superjet, Canadian Bombardier C series (now part of Airbus), Mitsubishi's MRJ, and Embraer.
In mid-December 2020, the MC-21 with domestically manufactured PD-14 jet engine made its maiden flight. It was a successful test. The PD-14 jet engine has been produced by Aviadvigatel. The certification process of this type of plane is still going on. After certification, the MC-21 will be ready to enter domestic and international market.
In addition to MC-21, another modern aircraft from Russia that has been operating in several countries around the world is Sukhoi Superjet 100. It is developed and manufactured by Russia's Sukhoi airplane manufacturer in cooperation with Safran. Unfortunately, the Superjet is not successful in the world market. Most of the operators of the aircraft are now inside Russia. Russia is working hard to revive its aviation industry that collapsed after the disolution of Soviet Union.