Sukhoi has flown its Superjet 100 regional jet to Italy for the first time, with one of the prototypes touching down at Turin's Caselle airport.
Italy has strong links to the Superjet programme, through the participation of Alenia Aeronautica in Sukhoi's civil aircraft division and the Venice-based marketing firm for the twinjet, Superjet International.
In addition, local carrier ItAli Airlines is a firm customer for the type, with 10 on order while, more recently, Alitalia has been linked to a potential Superjet lease.
The third prototype airframe, 95004, flew to Turin from Moscow as part of the flight certification programme. It will undergo tests including noise compliance and high-intensity field exposure, with some of the work conducted at Cuneo Levaldigi airport.
So far, 18 Superjets are in serial production at the airframer's manufacturing plant in Russia, including six in final assembly.Over the course of the campaign the Superjet prototypes have logged 2,100h and 814 flights. Sukhoi says this amounts to around 70% of the total certification programme.
Superjet 100 production has received a lift from the recent certification of the aircraft's PowerJet SaM146 engines by Russian authorities.