The Benefits Of The MC-21’s Wider Cabin

The Irkut MC-21 is expected to enter service in Russia next year. The short and medium-haul aircraft is billed to dominate domestic fleets in the country by the time this decade is over.One of the plane’s unique attributes is its wide cabin.

MC-21 Front
Rostec, the conglomerate behind Russia’s aviation scene, is proud of the wide MC-21 cabin. Photo: Sumit Singh | Simple Flying

A close look

During the MAKS-2021 airshow in Moscow last month, Simple Flying had the chance to have a look in the cabin of the MC-21-300. Moreover, Viktor Kladov, Director for International Cooperation and Regional Policy of the State Corporation Rostec, spoke with us about the advantages of the aircraft’s wideness. There are plenty of prospects for airlines with this added space.

“The cabin is more than four meters wide. Four meters and six centimeters to be exact,” Kladov told Simple Flying.

“This gives more space and more comfortable seats for passengers. Also, the central passage is wider. So, when food is served, the passengers are not blocked.”

MC-21 Aisle
The MC-21 is 11 cm (4.3 in) wider than the Airbus A320 and 27 cm (11 in) wider than the Boeing 737. Photo: Sumit Singh | Simple Flying

In practice

Overall, the 4.06 m extended fuselage diameter can give advantages to both the passengers and flight attendants. For example, it removes the typical struggle on narrowbody flights when a passenger needs to go to the bathroom or is returning to their seat and a cart is blocking the path.

In addition, people can pass easily when someone is stowing their bag in the overhead bins. That not only makes for a better boarding experience; it speeds up turnarounds too.

On the subject of overhead bins, the MC-21 offers 20 to 25% more space than others in its class. There’s plenty of room for several cabin sized bags.

MC-21 Baggage
The overhead bins allow quick and convenient boarding and disembarking procedures. Photo: Sumit Singh | Simple Flying

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

The extra space allows airlines to be more flexible with their layouts. Carriers can format their cabins in three-class, two-class, single-class, and high-density settings. The wide fuselage allows companies to optimize their configurations to what suits them best.

MC-21 Business
Another point Rostec highlights is that the wide nature of the MC-21 brings a window size extension of up to 30% compared to other planes in its class. Photo: Sumit Singh | Simple Flying

The wider benefits

Rostec’s teams have been holistic with the cabin design to take factors across the board into consideration. The firm emphasizes that the interior has been designed to ensure that cleaning and preparation processes can be conducted rapidly.

For instance, the on board maintenance system shares details on the technical condition of the plane’s equipment into the ACARS (Aircraft Communications, Addressing and Reporting System) data link. This factor decreases aircraft downtime. So, the reduced turnaround time on the ground allows carriers to be in the air more.

Altogether, there are several benefits to be had thanks to the wide build of the MC-21. These factors aren’t just present in the cabin, as the cargo compartments allow for bulk loading or the deployment of a mechanized container loading system. Overall, the МС-21-200 has a cargo compartment capacity of 34m3, while the MC-21-300’s is 49m3.

Kladov concludes that the MC-21 brings many benefits of a widebody to the single-aisle market. Staff and customers alike will undoubtedly appreciate the extra space on the aircraft.

What are your thoughts about the wide cabin of the Irkut MC-21? What do you make of the prospects of the aircraft? Let us know what you think of the plane and its potential in the comment section.