MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has not abandoned and has no plans to abandon the use of composite materials for creation of wings of the MC-21 passenger jet, a source in the company’s press service told TASS on Thursday.
"No one has rejected and has no plans to reject the use of composites for creation of the MC-21 jet’s wing," the source said.
Earlier Kommersant business daily wrote that the deliveries of materials for MC-21’s composite wings from the United States and Japan were halted due to the US sanctions against Aerocomposit. UAC and Rostec are considering several options of tackling the issue, one of them is to abandon composites and swap them out with metal.
United Aircraft Corporation also said that the appeal procedure on the decision to impose sanctions against Aerocomposit had been launched.
"It is no secret that an absolutely civil company Aerocomposit that on no account is connected with the military-industrial complex, was put on the US sanctions list earlier. Another strong player having emerged in a high-margin niche of medium-range aircrafts with a brand-new product must be raising concerns among leading global players," the company’s press service emphasized.
"After Aerocomposit was put on the sanctions list, we initiated an appeal procedure on that decision. Such decisions mean the use of sanctions rhetoric in a competitive struggle in high-tech sectors," the source added.
The company noted that the move had required "additional efforts to provide an uninterrupted flow of the program to create composite wings."
According to Kommersant, the remaining composite reserves will be enough for production of another six planes. For several years, Rosatom, VIAM (All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Aviation Materials) and a number of private companies have been involved in mastering composites production for aviation, UAC explained. As part of a general import substitution plan, the step-by-step replacement of necessary components of the MC-21 composite wing with locally-made equivalents is underway, the state-run corporation said.
Meanwhile, the substitution of material may be registered as supplemental type certificate, which will not affect the term of the certification itself, UAC added.
MC-21 is a medium-haul passenger jet being developed by the United Aircraft Corporation. It may come in two configurations - MC-21-200 (seating 132 to 165) and MC-21-300 (163 to 211). Another configuration, MC-21-400 with up to 250 seats, is also planned.
Currently only the MC-21-300 plane is being developed. It performed its first flight at the end of May 2017. First jets are expected to be delivered in 2020. Certificating and the launch of serial production are also due in 2020.