MC-21-300 with composite domestic wings flies for the first time

Produced by AeroComposite, Irkut’s new jetliner structures use a vacuum-infusion manufacturing process that would be more advantageous than traditional technology

The most advanced Russian-developed jetliner, the MC-21-300 took off on Saturday from the Irkutsk Aviation Plant airfield for the first time built with a set of domestically produced composite wings.

The 73361 registration aircraft is equipped with PW1400G turbofans, supplied by Pratt & Whitney, but which will be replaced in the future by the Russian PD-14 engine due to Western sanctions.

The new composite structures are also a reflection of the replacement of components previously shipped by European and US companies, whose governments have barred supplies to Russia in retaliation for political actions by the Putin government.

“The first flight of an aircraft with a wing made of Russian composites proves that we did everything right, the MC-21 program is moving forward consistently and steadily despite sanctions and unfair competition. This is the result of the development of skills in the aviation industry and related industries and unprecedented government support,” said Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Commerce of the Russian Federation.

The MC-21-300 will enter in service in September 2022 (UAC)

The MC-21’s wings are manufactured by AeroComposite, a Russian company headquartered in the far east of the nation. They were manufactured using a new vacuum infusion technique, which, according to the UAC (holding that controls Irkut), has a superior quality than autoclave technology, in addition to having a lower production cost.

Also according to the UAC, there are two other MC-21s in production with wings produced domestically, and a third set is being finalized.

The share of composite materials in the structure of the new Russian passenger jet is 40%, according to Rostec, the state-owned technology giant.

Russian certification of the MC-21-300 is expected in the coming weeks, and delivery of the first jet to Rossiya Airlines in September 2022.

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