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20 Aug, 2011 07:42

Sukhoi Superjet shines at MAKS $10 billion aviation mart

Deals signed during the international air show MAKS have surpassed the event’s previous record of $10 billion. The Sukhoi Superjet 100, a joint project between Russia and France, hits the best-seller list.

Jet engines have been roaring over Moscow for the past few days with the international air show MAKS boasting stunning aerobatics. The Russian Knights and the Swifts are continuing the show, which started already on Friday, with a performance of their gravity-defying stunts.  Among the array of wares being eyed up by a stream of international customers, a double delight from Russia: the new MS-21 mid-range airliner and the Sukhoi Superjet.Only a prototype just a year ago, the Sukhoi Superjet is now officially in business, having gathered over 200 orders already from both Russian and foreign airlines.  “Now we have a real airplane which can be touched, and we are more comfortable with it and very optimistic,” Carlo Logli, Superjet International CEO, told RT.A joint project between Russia's aviation giant Sukhoi, Europe's Superjet International and several dozen other companies – this is the first civil aircraft produced in Russia from scratch since the collapse of the USSR.Geared up with some of the most advanced navigation equipment with a maximum range of around 2,000 miles, the Sukhoi Superjet will replace Soviet-era aircraft. And with a price tag of around $25,000,000 per piece, which is around 20 per cent cheaper than its main rivals, there is interest in the Superjet from foreign airlines as well.“Generally the flying experience is no different compared to flying in Europe on any kind of modern plane. I've got a couple of little quibbles here and there, but it is a nifty little aircraft,” said journalist Roland Oliphant.Its developers say they will continue working on the Superjet in order to overcome any teething problems. And with a line of orders already secured, they promise to deliver over 160 planes by the end of 2016. Meanwhile, the first Sukhoi Superjet, which was sold to an Armenian air company, has already made several international flights.