Aircraft construction has always been and remains one of the most important, strategically important areas of industry and defense complex of Russia. Russian-made aircrafts and helicopters, both civil and military, have been repeatedly exported, and the amount of contracts ran into billions of dollars. The production capacities of the aircraft building industry are mainly scattered over the regions of the Russian Federation, but the "brain" of the industry - the main experimental design bureaus and engineering centers - is concentrated in Moscow.
The North of Moscow is the cradle of the Russian aircraft industry
Literally it is a historical fact that major intellectual and technological resources of the country are concentrated in the north of Moscow. Several main aviation institutes, where brilliant designers started their careers, work here. Their names became commonplace long ago - Sergey Ilyushin, Pavel Sukhoi, Alexander Yakovlev, Andrey Tupolev and others. All the most prominent design bureaus are structural units of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which, in its turn, is part of Rostec.
According to Vladimir Yefimov, Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Economic Policy, the state and city authorities pay close attention to the development of aircraft building. Even now more than 50 thousand Muscovites are involved in the industry. Several dozens of industrial enterprises and research institutes are involved in aircraft building to varying degrees. Nine companies have the status of an industrial complex, thus getting the opportunity to take advantage of special benefits for income tax, rent and other payments.
The state support gives the opportunity to the aircraft manufacturers to use the saved funds to increase the competitiveness of the aircraft in the international market.
The Ilyushin Il aircraft have been well known since the Soviet times. During the Ilyushin Design Bureau's history, more than 200 aircraft of various modifications were designed, and 140 of them were successfully launched. The total number of assembled serial Ilyushin aircraft is about 62 thousand.
Nowadays S.V.Ilyushin Aviation Complex is working on the preparation for the serial production of the new IL-96-400M long-range aircraft. Its fuselage is 9.35 m longer than the model that formed the basis for this modification. Such a change in the design was not least motivated by the desire to improve the comfort of the passengers, which can be carried in the new cabin up to 400 people.
Another interesting project, which is currently being developed by the JSC "IL" - a small passenger aircraft Il-114-300 with 68 seats for passengers. The project has entered the phase of completion, and new airliners of this brand are already being assembled at the plants of the United Aircraft Corporation.
It is planned to use the airplane for regional air transportation. It will help to solve mobility problems of Russian citizens living in the north regions of the country, in Siberia and the Far East. This model is also considered as a base for design of various modifications of aircraft with narrower specializations such as patrolling, aerial photography, sanitary aviation.
Model IL-114-300 is focused mainly on the Russian domestic market. But the Russian aircraft building industry also has some modern technological solutions optimized for export. The nearest example is the Superjet 100.
Innovations and new technologies
The Superjet 100 was created as a next generation regional passenger aircraft. Its uniqueness is the fact that it is the first airliner of such a high technological level in the history of aviation industry of modern Russia which was designed and produced in the country completely from scratch. The developer is the Moscow-based company Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. Since last year it has been a part of Irkut Corporation as a subsidiary.
The latest techniques and technologies and computer-aided design systems were used to develop the Superjet 100. At all stages of the design process engineering solutions were tested in 3D models in a virtual reality environment.
Superjet 100 is not the only high-tech development of UAC in civil aircraft building. Another interesting development of the corporation is the MS-21 aircraft created by the engineers of Irkut Corporation. By the way, the engineering center is located here, in the north of Moscow, where other intellectual nodes of the industry are also located.
The airplane got an elongated fuselage, also an elongated wing made of composite material, and the latest generation engines. All these innovations give the MC-21 serious advantages both on the domestic and foreign markets. Much attention is also paid to the environmental aspect, both in terms of emissions and noise. So the model may now be of great interest to potential buyers from abroad.
From electrics to new helicopters
An important direction in the aircraft industry is the development and serial production of components for the electrical equipment that equips civil and combat aircraft, as well as helicopters and missile systems.
An example of a successful manufacturer of onboard electrical equipment is Aeroelektromash JSC, also a Moscow-based company celebrating its 80th anniversary in February 2021.
A few years ago, Aeroelektromash officially became an industrial complex with all the benefits of this status. In the coming years it is planned to invest about 1.5 billion rubles in modernization of production facilities and creation of the "lean manufacturing" system.
In the very near future, Aeroelektromash plans to set up mass production of a light helicopter on electric propulsion. The AEM-1 model has already been developed, and even experimental models have been created, demonstrating a flight range of up to 600 km.