Russia squares up to Boeing, Airbus with maiden jet flightRussia carried out the maiden flight of its new MS-21 medium-range passenger plane on Sunday, its first post-Soviet foray into production of a mainline commercial aircraft which it hopes will rival those of its Western competitors. In a surprise statement, manufacturer Irkut Corporation and its state-controlled parent company United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said an MS-21-300 model had successfully completed a 30-minute flight at a height of 1,000 meters and traveling at 300 km an hour. Squeezed by Western sanctions over its role in the Ukraine crisis, Russia is trying to rejuvenate domestic industrial production to make the country less dependant on foreign firms.

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