Superjet 100 completed water ingestion trials

In early June, Russia’s new Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional airliner made another important step towards certification. The second prototype aircraft, number 95003, successfully completed the test program aimed at evaluating engine protection against runway water ingestion at a full range of speeds (from 10 to 150 knots) and different engine settings preceding take-off. The tests took place in a special pool constructed on a runway of the Gromov flight research institute in Zhukovsky.
The aircraft accomplished a total of 27 runs along the 70-meter-long pool filled to 40 mm with water. Special attention was paid to the engine performance at low speeds and take-off power settings as well as at maximum reverse thrust. The Superjet 100 program has often been criticized for its low-hanging underwing engine design. This, opponents argued, could lead to foreign objects getting into the air intakes from the runway. But the trials in Zhukovsky demonstrated that that water does not hit either the engine air intakes or the auxiliary power unit while the aircraft runs along a wet runway. The absence of water ingestion was confirmed by standard cockpit engine performance indication, by video and photo output from cameras mounted at varying distances from the pool, and from mini-cameras attached to the landing gear of the aircraft. Moreover, the tests confirmed that the aircraft goes steadily along a wet runway at speeds of up to 150 knots (275 km/h) and can be easily handled by an averagely skilled pilot.
According to Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, the developer of the Superjet 100, the certification program is close to completion. The designers hope to obtain a Russian certificate by the end of this year, after which first deliveries can start. EASA certification is expected in the first half of 2011.   

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