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7. Russia's new passenger plane makes trial flight

Russia's newest passenger plane made its first test flight.

It followed a successful maiden flight of a new passenger liner earlier this month by rival China.

Russian government-affiliated aircraft maker Irkut developed the new passenger plane, the MC21, using light and durable carbon fiber and other materials.

Irkut officials disclosed that the MC21 made its first flight on Sunday in Irkutsk, East Siberia where the assembly plant is located.

The first flight lasted 30 minutes, with the plane climbing to an altitude of 1,000 meters. Officials say they collected data such as controllability, flight stability and engine performance.

Having received a report on the plane's maiden flight, President Vladimir Putin telephoned those in charge of developing the new airliner to convey his congratulations.

The Russian government plans to sell 1,000 of the new planes over the next 20 years, mostly in Russia and former Soviet Union member-states.

US and European aircraft makers, including Airbus and Boeing, have an overwhelming share for the same class passenger planes with a seating capacity of around 150.

China's new plane made a successful first flight on May 5th as the country prepares to enter the market.

Amid severe competition, the Russian government apparently wanted to show that it is making progress in developing its new passenger plane.
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