Sweep black wings

Thanks to the infusion of technology composites for new long-haul aircraft and a happy coincidence the Russian aviation industry can gain a distinct technological advantage. Our competitors will start using this technology in just ten years 

A subsidiary of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) — the company "AeroComposite" — started pilot production of composite elements of the wing at its new plant in Kazan. This company will produce the classic autoclave technology directly to the two models of new Russian airliners — Superjet 100 and MS-21. In the future it is intended to engage in the production programs of Airbus and Boeing. But the main hope our aircraft manufacturers impose on another new plant "AeroKompozita" — in Ulyanovsk. It is the world's only production, where production all-composite, or so-called black wings will be the unique technology of vacuum infusion. That it should provide aircraft MS-21 technological advantage over competitors. The first pilot-scale production Ulyanovsk plant plans to release this summer, and a year later the first fully composite wing of Russian production will be sent to Irkutsk and placed on MS-21. About how organized the production process for new plants in Ulyanovsk and Kazan, why the main rate was made by vacuum infusion technology and what dividends it promises the Russian aircraft industry, in an interview with an "expert" told the president "AeroKompozita" Anatoly Gaydansky.

  • President of the "AeroKompozita" Anatoly Gaydansky initially made a bid for vacuum infusion technology
  • President of the "AeroKompozita" Anatoly Gaydansky initially made a bid for vacuum infusion technology

President of the "AeroKompozita" Anatoly Gaydansky initially made a bid for vacuum infusion technology

Two year back yours company start construction enterprises on production Composite details in Ulyanovsk and Kazan. What done for this time?

— We're in the home stretch — construction companies almost completed. Now in Ulyanovsk and Kazan in full swing equipment installation. The first phase of the Kazan plant is already running — started pilot production of the elements of the wing. This ailerons, rudders, flaps, spoilers, air brakes, as well as fore and aft of the wing. Together, these components form the so-called aircraft sets. In the coming year in Kazan will produce 24 aircraft sets the program Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ), and further increase their production to 60. Moreover, the same company in the future will produce for our strategic partner — the Austrian company FACC AG, one of the largest suppliers of Airbus and Boeing.

And in Ulyanovsk will be produced major composite wing box structures for aircraft MS-21 — set of panels, spars, as well as the construction of center. And there, in Ulyanovsk, will be the final assembly of the wings and the center section of the MS-21. Fully both plants will be put into production by the end of this year.

When will released first products?

— In Kazan, we have launched several prototypes. While engaged in commissioning process, check the operation of the equipment in all modes. After that, we'll do the first prototype set of elements of mechanization, which will go on trial in TsAGI. This will occur in the third or fourth quarter of this year. You will then need to get addition to the certificate on the Superjet 100, and only then, in 2014, these units be installed on the aircraft.

And as far as increase share Composites in the Superjet 100?

— It will not change. These aircraft are now flying with composite elements of mechanization. But due to economic reasons, we have decided to replace them. This will allow us to dramatically — more than 30 percent — to reduce their costs.

A on what stage now work on creation Wing to MS-21?

— The first static tests of prototypes we spent at TsAGI in December 2011. They were to validate our methods of calculation and accuracy of the selected technology. Experienced wing box length of 10 meters (the actual length of the wing about 18 meters). They were run in different modes and subjected to destruction. The results correlate well with the model calculations, we were able to design and no heavier, and the strength to observe all the rules. In the near future we will produce in mass production of the wing box is a real geometry, and again send them to the test at TsAGI. Well, the first wing is fully ready with all the elements of mechanization, which will already be installed on the MS-21, we need to make before the end of July next year.

How many you invested in creation productions?

— Investments KLA were about 8.5 billion rubles. Of these, 3.5 billion spent on the Kazan plant and about five billion — to Ulyanovsk. Ulyanovsk plant much more than Kazan. The ground — nearly 90,000 square meters, and the second — a total of about 33 million.

On what volume production calculated these the company?

— We believe that as the Ulyanovsk plant will produce 200 consoles in the year, there are 100 sets of wings. But the production will be phased. If you talk about revenue, we expect that the Ulyanovsk plant it will be about $ 120-150 million per year, and in Kazan — 100-130 million.

In what more programs besides MS-21 can be involved plant in Ulyanovsk?

— No Western manufacturer, most likely, will not give us the benefit of producing wing developed their programs. It is this core competence that all aircraft manufacturers are trying to retain. But here the elements of the tail, which Airbus and Boeing are made in cooperation with independent suppliers of composite materials, we may receive. U
AC is now actively studying the possibility of a joint project with the Chinese partners — "Aircraft 2020" (wide-trunk liner. — "Expert "). It is possible that there is some kind of cooperation will arise that will allow us to increase the loading of the Ulyanovsk plant. But now talk about it prematurely, as the main decision on the program are not yet effective.

Why from All Foreign technological partners you selected it FACC AG?

— We have a lot of work with Russian companies, such as the Aviation Materials, as well as with international ones. The most fruitful relationships we have established with the companies Diamond and FACC. To their credit: that they have we learned a lot for the introduction of infusion technology. Of course, we then adapt them to suit our objectives, improved, upgraded. But the fact that it was in the beginning, and that there is now — this is heaven and earth. Well, then, FACC was interested to enter the Russian market. And do not just go out and invest in our production, and most importantly — to transfer the work to its programs on our businesses.

And what volume Business can be held thanks to Partnership with this firm?

— It is assumed that the Kazan plant will produce FACC on orders up to $ 50-60 million a year. Rather, it is about the programs that the Austrian company performs for Boeing and Airbus. And as soon as our factory will be technological audit and obtain necessary quality certificates, such orders will be placed. All the necessary agreements with the Austrians, including price, time and quantitative parameters, JSC "AeroComposite" already signed. And they, in turn, has already signed and executed contracts with Boeing and Airbus.

Why you so it's important participate in Airbus programs and Boeing?

— Because it will allow us to expand our sales and reduce the proportion of overhead costs per unit of output. On one only Russian programs return on investment in the plant is much longer. What one hundred sets per year to produce that ten — a big difference in terms of upfront investment is not. You still need to build a building, a clean room, ultrasonic testing, put at least a minimal amount of autoclaves, milling centers, set X-ray cameras. But then the equipment should be loaded to the max, so it does not idle. That's what we're going to get through the orders of the FACC.

But there is another important point. It is imperative that the Austrians have trained us to work by Western standards, the company implemented a quality management system. In Russia its principles in this area, and Boeing and Airbus are working on several other standards. They may be fundamentally no better than ours, but we need them to know and be able to work with them according to market their services on the side.

How many invested FACC AG in yours the company?

— While they invested only the knowledge and experience of the organization of production, but in the near future they will become full shareholders Kazan plant. We together designed this plant was built, were specifications for the equipment which it purchased. And investment on their part will begin after the plant will be technology audit. I think that this process will be completed this year. With regard to financial matters, the details, I will not divulge. I can only say that it is about the acquisition of shares, which exceeds the blocking. It's a few million dollars.

To what you required create at once two production site?

— Two main reasons. The first — the various processes. Elements of mechanization, the nose and tail section for various reasons, more optimally to produce the classic autoclave technology, in contrast to the wing panels and spars, where we use an infusion technology. Therefore, in Ulyanovsk and Kazan different composition of the equipment, and it is difficult to bring it all together on one site. The second reason is that the Kazan area is organized as a joint venture with FACC AG, which allows us to attract third-party orders. In Ulyanovsk, also in connection with the presence of the know-how to attract a foreign partner at this stage we considered premature.

A that this secret in this infusion Technology?

— Speaking about the aviation industry, it allows you to make the panel wing length of 18 meters and a width of up to three meters in the chord in one production stages. At the moment, parts manufacturing technologies such dimension own only three manufacturers — Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier. Well, we, respectively, and a fourth. Infusion technology enables to produce more complex than the traditional autoclave technology parts in one production stages. In addition, it significantly reduces the cost of production costs and reduces the weight of the product.

Technology was bought for abroad?

— The fact that we now use, more than half done by our experts. When created "AeroComposite" that Mikhail Pogosyan Aslanovich (head of the company "Sukhoi" and president of KLA. — "Expert ") Has formed a team of employees on the basis of firm Sukhoi. These were the leading experts: the chief designer, chief technology officer, senior vice president of technology — they all come from the Sukhoi Design Bureau. So, the ideology of work with the infusion technology to all of us was clear from the start. But it is important not just an idea, but its implementation, details. And these nuances, we have fine-tuned with our technology partners, with the same Diamond, FACC AG, with the leading manufacturers of the world's aviation industry, which are specially created for us the needed materials and manufacturing equipment.

A in than difference between autoclave technology and infusion?

— The composite used in this production, is composed of two parts: a filler and a binder. Filler — is coal, glass ribbon or fabric. A binder — this resin. When the binder is applied to the filler, and then heat treated together, the composite obtained.

For the produ
ction of load-bearing structures of the wing are mainly used two techniques — autoclave and infusion. When autoclave technology for each layer solids, coal tissue treater the special resin is applied. Cloth impregnated with a binder, called prepreg. Thereafter, the prepreg is placed into the desired shape (by snap) and placed in an autoclave, under pressure and at high temperature is formed by the finished product. The main limitation of this technology is the lifetime of the prepreg at room temperature — typically no more than five to seven days. Often this time is not enough to put a complex integral structure and prepare it for polymerization in an autoclave. Therefore, for example, Boeing for manufacturing wing panel stringers separately produces and then puts them onto the wet substrate (trim panels), and then baked in an autoclave. That is, the adhesive compound occurs, which reduces structural strength.

We use the second method — vacuum infusion when using special machines tape is laid out completely dry, not smeared by the binder. Then it is set on the vacuum bag, and only then under the influence of vacuum as a binder drawn inwards where it is progressively impregnates the tape. Accordingly, we do not need an autoclave, and we have a virtually unlimited lifetime of the material. Dry material may be at least six months to spread. And, besides, we can do more complex integral part to optimize its design and achieve weight loss.

From the MS 21 can squeeze the fuel efficiency by 8% than the MAX 737 or A-320 NEO

And what economic win gives Infusion Technology?

— Speaking of cost, the savings of the order of 5-7 percent compared with autoclave technology. But in addition there are some cost savings in weight — around 3-4 percent.

A in comparison with aluminum wing?

— This comparison is not quite correct. Because the main advantage of composite wing is not achieved at the expense of lower cost of production and not even at the expense of weight, due to the possibility of creating a more perfect aerodynamic shape. We call it "high aspect ratio wing." It provides a high fuel efficiency. The composite wing compared with aluminum provides fuel savings of approximately 6-8 percent. Of these, the proportion of weight gain provides no more than 2 percent. And the rest of 4-6 per cent are obtained at the expense of aerodynamics. That is, the weights do not play such a big role. Well, maybe 200-300 pounds, it will weigh less.

Successful implementation Your projects production Composite details for sure abruptly increase technological level UAC yes and only Russian aircraft in whole. But will whether this provide excellence MS-21 over Competitors in real market fight?

— What we do — it is a major breakthrough. MS-21 is now a very competitive market — medium-haul aircraft with a single pass. For this market is a real battle. Boeing is already there with his family 737 MAX and Airbus with its A-320 NEO. Each of these companies is going to produce about 400 such aircraft a year. A soon to be added two new products — the Canadian company Bombardier and China's COMAC. And for us to enter this market with its MS-21, you just need to have a significant competitive advantage. What could they be? First of all is the service, price and value of service. The most tangible benefit that this can be a cost of service. With the new wings of the MC-21 can be squeezed fuel efficiency by 6-8 percent more than the 737 MAX, or A-320 NEO. Well, the cost of production of the aircraft, we will be slightly lower than the competition.

A her-that for account what succeed Provide?

— We do not need expensive autoclaves, so the equipment that we buy is cheaper than Boeing. We do not need to rivet the stringer, as does Boeing. Accordingly, the energy intensity of the process and, most importantly, we have less labor input. And finally, equipment that we use, in some cases, also costs less. It turns out that there is 3 percent saved, there is 2 percent, and the overall effect is very significant.

If MS-21 really will so good as you say that not possible that at some circumstances Americans just block the you access to materials to production wings or introduce what-some sanctions. You such option considering?

— In theory, such a fear, of course, we exist. But I do not think it will happen. And then, we are working very hard with local manufacturers of materials with Aviation Materials, the company holding the "Composite". In addition, a large factory for the production of raw materials for the composite industry in building Alabuga "RUSNANO". So they create the materials, I think it will be widely used in the domestic aviation industry.

As long on market will persist technological excellence MS-21? After all, for sure and he Boeing, and others Manufacturers aircraft too will < strong>do wings to Fire new models Using infusion technology.

— The probability of this is very high, but as long as the decision Boeing has not yet accepted. I think it will not happen before 2025.

Why them so long wait?

— The fact that the life cycle has already started programs big enough. Now if Boeing and Airbus do not have composite wings for the 737 MAX and A-320 NEO, and decided to leave the aluminum, it is now the following program to create a new single-aisle aircraft will be launched no earlier than ten years. There is a certain cycle of introducing new models to market, and reduce its absolutely necessary. This applies to the wide-bodied aircraft. Wings of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A-350 made by autoclave technology, the modernization of the Boeing 777 is also 99 per cent will go to the autoclave. You see, they have already invested billions of dollars into their programs, invested in certification in technology, tweaked it, and now if something will change seriously, just do not beat off the money invested. Now, if they immediately began to use the technology infusion, then upgrading would be of economic significance. Because that's an advantage that we have, there was only thanks to the fact that we have started to do everything from scratch.

Organization two productions cost "AeroKompozitu " about 270 millions U.S.. This not that amount which became would save Boeing …

— Yes, but two hundred million — an investment with the expectation of our volume: a few dozen aircraft sets per year. A Boeing aircraft manufactures several hundreds per year. And there already are required in proportion to bo? Lshie attachments. At least a few billion. Also, if you talk about wide-body aircraft, they have wings much larger dimension. Not 18m, like MS-21, they can reach up to 30 meters in length. That is, the game is not worth the candle — completely switch to the new technology there is no sense now.

If the benefit was more than 20 percent by weight or cost, Boeing clearly would change technology. And when the advantage of 6-8 per cent, it is just on the edge, when thousands of people will think twice before you do something. And then, they will wait until the technology we will bring to mind, get a certificate for the plane, and only then take action. That is, their risks will try to minimize.

Future competitor "Civil aircraft Dry "- Corporation Mitsubishi — too first wanted do wings to its new Regional MRJ aircraft from Composite materials but then from this ideas refused. Why?

— I think that there were two main reasons. First, the regional dimension of MRJ aircraft composite wing does not provide the benefits that it gives to the trunk liners. First of all, because a significant portion of the total time that a plane is in the air, take off and landing. This means that fuel economy will be small. Secondly, producing a wing panel for the Boeing 787, a Mitsubishi had seen on the technological challenges faced by the Boeing in the process. I mean it autoclave technology. Believe me, there are so many different problems that the Japanese at this stage to decide, apparently, did not want to.

Composites — very byway area materials science. Out-of-for it their application associated with an next difficulties. For instance, when Boeing did Dreamliner, on initial stage Test at Aircraft were found microcracks because of what Americans forced were redesign wing. As you intend to avoid similar Problems? And what risks you see in use infusion Technology?

Risks we have a lot, no one denies that. The main risk — certification of the aircraft. This is recognized by us and our management. MS-21 will be certified not only in Russia but also in the European and U.S. certification bodies. And the question for us will be very much, and they will set an addiction. First, because we are the first to use this technology in the manufacture of the wing box haul, and second, we are not very much like to see this plane in the world market. To reduce this risk, the leading developer of Corporation "Irkut" together we developed a program of work to ensure the certification of composite wing consisting of MS-21. We spend a very serious money, work with foreign partners, we form an opinion showing our technology experts are working very hard with experts from TsAGI Aviation Materials, the relevant certification centers. Jointly develop programs and documents that form the basis of certification basis of MS-21.

A there is whether especially technological the risks?

— Of course, the use of any new technology there is always a risk that something will not work or will not. Could something we do not take into account by making the ten-wing prototypes? Now it is very difficult to answer, but the likelihood of this, in our opinion, is insignificant. In any case, all of the risks we are going to once again count and check. I'm sure by the end of this year all of them will be re
moved, which will create a composite wing with very good weight and aerodynamics into the right program for MS-21 time.

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