Irkut Readies MC-21 for Serial Production
Representatives of Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade met with executives of the Irkut Corporation at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant (IAP) on February 5 to talk over “issues” concerning the preparations for serial production of the new MC-21 airliner. Deputy minister of industry and trade Yuri Slyusar, director of the aviation industry department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Andrey Boginsky, Irkut president Oleg Demchenko and Irkutsk Aviation Plant general director Alexander Veprev attended the meeting.
Last year IAP received design project documentation, and mechanics have begun mounting the first eight stations of the automated final assembly line. The company expects the assembly line to begin operations during the first half of this year, and plans call for all 60 stations–developed by Germany’s Durr Systems–to operate in 2015. The first MC-21 flight test vehicle–an MC-21-300 basic model designed to carry 180 passengers–is due to roll off the assembly line by the end of next year, with first flight some time in 2015 before first deliveries in 2017. Irkut hopes to produce seven MC-21s per month by the time it reaches peak production rates.
So far the Russian government has committed almost $500 million to subsidize the program, which Irkut says is backed by 175 firm orders.