Russian national flag carrier Aeroflot is nearing the end of its Boeing 777-300ER deliveries, with the 21st plane expected to arrive in Moscow next month. In a statement speaking about the aircraft’s arrival, Aeroflot said that they had decided to name the aircraft after lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer Sergei Korolev.
The decision to name the aircraft after the man credited with putting the first satellite Sputnik 1, into space and the flight of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin came on the 60th anniversary of Gagarin’s great achievement. On April 12th, 1961, Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin boarded a Vostok 1 rocket and blasted into space. While the entire adventure lasted only 108 minutes as it circumnavigated the globe, it transformed the way people thought about our planet and made Gagarin a name that will live on forever.
Aeroflot names planes after famous Russians
When speaking about the decision to name the plane after Sergei Korolev, a name that had previously been used on a former Aeroflot aircraft that was retired in 2018, CEO of Aeroflot Mikhail Poluboyarinov said:
“Our airline has a long tradition of naming planes after great compatriots.” adding, “This allows us to preserve the memory of outstanding personalities and pay tribute to their merits. We are glad to have the opportunity to perpetuate the contribution of Sergei Korolev to the formation and development of the aerospace industry.”
Boeing Russia and CIS President Sergei Kravchenko said:
“The new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft of Aeroflot will be named after the founder of practical cosmonautics Sergei Korolev, it’s meaningful to us. Since 1992, Boeing has been a strategic partner of «Energia,» named after Korolev in a number of aerospace programs. Together we participate in significant projects in the field of space exploration, including the International Space Station.”
The Aeroflot Boeing 777-300ER has 427 seats
The Boeing 777-300ER, named after Sergei Korolev, is configured in three classes Business, Comfort, and Economy. In business class, it will have 28 reverse herringbone seats, 24 seats in comfort class, and 375 seats in economy for a total of 427 seats. The range of the new widebody jet is 14,594 kilometers (7880.12 nautical miles).
In other Aeroflot Boeing 777-300ER, related news Aeroflot has just opened a new 15,000 square meter (161,458 square feet) maintenance hangar at Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO). Built using all of the latest technological advances and state-of-the-art equipment, workers at the facility will be able to accommodate a widebody jet like a Boeing 777 or an Airbus A330 plus two Russian-built Sukhoi SuperJet 100s simultaneously.
Aeroflot had to send its 777s to China
Before bringing widebody aircraft maintenance, in-house Aeroflot was forced to send its Boeing 777-300ERs to China, where Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services serviced them. Aeroflot Group’s MRO subsidiary A-Technics will operate the new maintenance facility.
— Aeroflot_World (@Aeroflot_World) April 9, 2021
When speaking to aviation website Russian Aviation Insider A-Technics’ general director Mikhail Korobovich said that the hangar is dedicated to covering the needs of the Aeroflot fleet but can also be used by Rossiya to service its Boeing 747-400s.
Given that Aeroflot already has an Airbus A320 named after Yuri Gagarin, it seems that naming the airline’s latest plane after Sergei Korolev is an excellent choice.
Have you flown on one of Aeroflot’s Boeing 777-300ERs lately? If so, please tell us about the experience in the comments.