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Mon, Jul 09, 2012

Russia Hopes Farnborough Will Help Repair Its Aviation Image

But Superjet Accident Likely To Make That More Difficult

The recent accident involving a Sukhoi Superjet 100 on a demonstration flight is expected to make it difficult for Russia to burnish its aviation image at Farnborough next week, despite planned displays by a pair of Su-27 "Flanker" fighters that will be flying at the show.

With plenty of military and civilian hardware on display, analysts are saying that much of the conversation involving Russian aviation will have that accident, which resulted in the fatal injury of 45 people, as its central theme.

Still, Reuters reports that the people at Sukhoi are expected to be "very diplomatic" about the Superjet accident, saying only that they are not able to comment while the Indonesian investigation is going on. But privately, the thinking is that United Aviation Corporation, the Russian state aviation holding company, is hoping for a finding of pilot error in the accident. Investigators have reportedly so far not found anything wrong with the airplane that went down.

While the Superjet 100 remains grounded, Sukhoi and its partner in the airplane Finmeccania of Italy say they are considering having one of the airplanes on static display, and keeping the order book open. There has been very little Western interest in the airliner, which Russia hoped would be the key to reviving its aviation industry, which has fallen on difficult times since the collapse of the Soviet Union.



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