United Aircraft Corporation’s (UAC) Irkut has collaborated with South Russian State Polytechnic University. N.I. Platova to build the first domestic composite fiber stacker robot that will replace foreign equipment for use on the "black" wing of the latest MC-21 aircraft.
Composite, or "black", wing is one of the advantages of the MC-21, which allows to reduce the weight of the airframe and improve the aerodynamic quality of the aircraft. Its creation is a complex process that requires high-tech equipment. With the help of robots, the dry carbon tape is automatically laid, which forms the future part of the airliner in layers. With the help of a laser, the carbon tape is heated and glued to the previous layer. The continuity of the calculation is ensured by the use of a tape rolled on a reel with a length of 3000 to 3500 meters. Previously, equipment for this work was purchased abroad, but after the sanctions imposed against Russia, supplies were stopped.
“The MC-21 is an important aircraft for our country, on which the stability of the Russian air transport system largely depends. In the shortest possible time, we replaced imported composite materials in its wing, having received approval from the Federal Air Transport Agency at the end of last year for major changes to the standard design of the aircraft. Now, for the domestic ‘black’ wing, a Russian stacker robot has also been created, which is in no way inferior to foreign counterparts, but in many ways surpasses them. The equipment will allow us not to depend on foreign suppliers and will help us reach the rhythmic production of up to 36 MC-21 aircraft per year,” said Vladimir Artyakov, First Deputy General Director of Rostec State Corporation.
A prototype robot has been put into commercial operation in the Moscow laboratory of the AeroComposite company, which is the UAC competence center in the field of innovative development and production of parts and assemblies from polymer composite materials.
“We have fully developed the domestic technology, having achieved high quality, speed and reliability of the system. The next goal is to scale up this solution for mass production of composite structures of the MC-21 wing and increase the production of aircraft,” said Anatoly Gaidansky, First Deputy General Director of the Irkut Corporation, General Director of JSC AeroComposite.
MC-21 is a new generation medium-haul passenger aircraft with a capacity of 163 to 211 passengers. The liner is focused on the most demanded segment of the passenger transportation market. The aircraft is created on the basis of the latest developments in the field of aircraft construction. Advanced aerodynamics, engines and systems of the latest generation provide high flight performance and reduced operating costs compared to analogues. The aerodynamic perfection of the aircraft is provided by a wing of greater elongation made of composite materials. In addition, the widest fuselage width of the MC-21 in its class allows for more personal space for passengers.