Irkut received the first composite material wing console made by AeroComposite for the MC-21-300 commercial jet. The right wing of the aircraft, 17.5 meters long, will be joined to the central section, also manufactured by the same company.
Based in Ulyanovsk, AeroComposite is one of the suppliers that are replacing Western companies in the MC-21 program. Originally, these parts were supposed to be produced by the Hexcel and Toray suppliers, but they suspended their work in 2018.
After relations with the United States have deteriorated in recent years, Russia has come under sanctions, preventing the supply of advanced components such as avionics and turbofan engines.
The wing set was manufactured using infusion technology patented by Russia. The use of composite materials allowed the wings of the MC-21 to have a high aspect ratio of 11.5, higher than that of older jets of the same size.
According to the Minister for Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, the MC-21-300 that received the new wing will still fly in 2021 and will be delivered to an undisclosed customer.
The MC-21-300 variant, however, still uses Pratt & Whitney’s PW1400G turbofan, but deliveries can be suspended by the U.S. government. As a result, UAC, the holding company that controls the largest Russian aerospace companies, is already testing Aviadvigatel’s PD-14 engine in flight, in the MC-21-310 variant.
Russia plans to certify the new single-aisle jet by the end of the year and make the first deliveries in 2022, starting with Aeroflot. UAC claims to have 175 firm orders for the MC-21, but a variant with indigenous engines is not expected to enter service until 2023.