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Russian MC-21 Jet Aims for 2017 Launch to Tackle Boeing, Airbus

Irkut Corp., a Russian state-controlled aircraft maker, is targeting a 10 percent share of the market for single-aisle planes as it aims to put a jet seating 150 to 212 passengers into service by 2017.

The planemaker has picked suppliers that include United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney for one of two engine options and Hamilton Sundstrand for the electric power-generation system, an executive said at the Dubai Air show. France’s Zodiac SA will do the interiors. The company is now talking to airlines in the former Soviet Union, Western Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East about possible orders.

“We are talking with the biggest companies,” Kirill Budaev, vice president of sales and marketing, said at a briefing at the show today. “About 10 or 15 big ones, both international carriers and low-cost operators, and maybe 30 middle size companies.” He declined to name prospects aside from Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier, which he said had already made public early discussions.

Budaev said the company will display a mock-up of the cabin interior at the Farnborough Air show next year. The aircraft will feature a more spacious cabin than existing Airbus SAS or Boeing Co. models, and as offer as much as 18 percent lower costs than competing models and 23 percent less fuel burn. Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan engines will also power Bombardier Inc.’s CSeries and is one option for the Airbus A320neo.

The plane’s design is set to be completed in the second half of 2012, with first test flights in 2014. The aircraft will cost “about 15 percent less” than competitors’ models, with a $69 million catalog price for the smallest model and $78 million for the largest, Budaev said.

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