The MAKS-2011 International Aviation and Space Show in Zhukovsky near Moscow came to a close on Sunday. The salon yielded multibillion contracts as Russian aircraft makers demonstrated sustainable growth and high-tech development. Attended by 800 companies from 40 countries, the air show has also revealed trends in the development of foreign aircraft.
As usual, the MAKS air show venue was the airfield of the Gromov Flight Research Institute, one of the biggest in Europe. Among this year’s debutants were the innovative Boeing 787 Dreamliner giant and the biggest passenger plane Airbus A-Group 380 with a capacity of more than 500 passengers and a range of up to 15,000 kilometers without stop. Russian aircraft makers have been working on the development of large long-range aircraft, which the country’s aircraft industry needs so much. Mikhail Pogosyan is chairman of JSC United Aircraft Corporation.
"Russian aircraft designers have been working to develop a series of regional aircraft, including the Superjet 100 and the Antonov An-148. The program’s centerpiece is the MS-21 which is currently under development. Long-range aircraft is necessary too, if Russia wants to maintain stable positions in the global civil aircraft market. To this end, we’ve launched a project and are doing market research and developing brand new technology in order to complete it by 2020."
As the global aviation industry moves towards new technology, metal is replaced with composite materials, and one of the agreements signed at MAKS-2011 provides for using polymers in the production of military and civil aircraft in Russia. In other words, Russia is building a cluster for supplying its aircraft industry with innovative materials. New-generation composite materials bring down aircraft mass by nearly one third. Yevgeny Kablov, Director of the All-Russian Institute of Aviation Materials, comments.
"The All-Russian Institute of Aviation Materials initiated the idea of using polymers in aircraft making and developed three hundred brands of such materials. Polymers are crucial for the future of aircraft industry. Along with the production of polymer composite materials, we should devise processing technology so that designers could implement the benefits of it. The MS-21 and Superjet airliners will be produced on the basis of new-generation materials. These materials have been made already, so the Institute aims to devise brand new technology rather than try to catch up with western companies."
Russia’s VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation has established successful cooperation with the European Airbus concern. Under an agreement signed at MAKS, the Russian company will supply the Airbus A-350 with titanium parts for landing gear. Significantly, VSMPO will be the only supplier of titanium parts for chassis support in the western market.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said as he attended the MAKS salon that the government had taken a decision to create a national aircraft building center in Zhukovsky which would embrace top research institutes, design bureaus and plants.
The value of deals struck at MAKS-2011 far exceeded the expected three billion dollars. JSC United Aircraft Corporation signed more than seven and a half billion dollars worth of contracts in the first three days of the show. Besides, the salon made a spectacular sight, stunning thousands of viewers with aerobatic stunts by The Swifts, Russian Knights and Falcons of Russia.
The next MAKS air show will take place in two years.