The MC-21-300 prototype aircraft has completed testing in sub-zero temperatures, Rostec announced in a statement on February 20, 2021. 

The aircraft and its system were tested in Yakutsk, Russia, at temperatures below minus 30 degrees Celsius. During the trials, the aircraft would spend around 12 hours outdoors before flight preparation procedures such as fueling, turning the systems on, starting the engines and auxiliary power unit, warming up the aircraft, etc., according to the statement.

“We have completed an important testing stage to extend the type certificate for the MC-21-300 aircraft,” Andrei Boginsky, CEO of Irkut Corporation, said in a statement. “This year we are planning to intensely test the aircraft in different regions of our country and abroad, including conditions of high mountains, strong windshifts and high temperatures”.

The first MC-21 prototype took off on its maiden flight in 2017. The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) initially planned to start delivering the aircraft in 2019. However, this was delayed numerous times. Currently, the first delivery to launch customer Rossiya, a subsidiary of Aeroflot, is expected in September 2022.

Irkut MC-21 is a narrow-body airliner under development at UAC, similar to the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo. The aircraft will be available in two variants: the MC-21-200 and the MC-21-300, and boasts a passenger capacity of 132 and 163 two-class seats and a range of 6,400 kilometres (3,500 nautical miles) and 6,000 kilometres (3,200 nautical miles) respectively. It is geared towards the Russian domestic market, with the country’s airlines ordering over 150 aircraft.