Russia’s aircraft engine manufacturers are trying to make up ground lost to Western rivals through a comprehensive process of consolidation and restructuring. The success of this change will have an impact not just on the companies themselves, but also on the ambitious new aircraft programs being prepared under the auspices of the new United Aircraft Manufacturing Corp. (OAK) for which new-generation engines are required.
On November 27 Jet Aviation became the first international business aviation services group to establish a support operation in Moscow when it took possession of a hangar next to the Vnukovo-3 business aviation terminal. It has also begun construction on a 33,000-sq-ft hangar that should be completed early this year.
Jet Aviation yesterday signed an agreement with Vnukovo Invest that will allow the Swiss-based aviation company to provide maintenance services at Moscow Vnukovo International Airport by year-end. The deal makes Jet Aviation the first global independent business aviation services company operating in the growing Russian bizjet market.
The expansion of Russia’s defense exports in recent years has caused its manufacturers to buy more components and systems instrumentation from leading Western companies, which has led to closer cooperation between Russian and Western firms.
Alexander Lebed, a once-powerful Russian politician, was killed April 29 when the Russian-made Mil Mi-8 helicopter in which he and 19 others were traveling smashed into a snowy Siberian hillside not far from the town of Abakan in the vast Siberian province of Krasnoyarsk, where Lebed was governor. The crash, which killed eight, among them three journalists and the region’s deputy governor, took place in thick fog.
The Russian government has halved the import tax on larger business jets from 20 to 10 percent, according to the country’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. This reduction initially will apply to aircraft weighing between 15 and 20 metric tons (33,069 to 44,092 pounds), though Russian officials have indicated they intend to extend the tax break to smaller business aircraft and eventually scrap the import duty altogether.
Two months from now on August 16 to 21, Russia will stage its seventh Moscow Aviation and Space Exposition (MAKS, to use its Russian acronym). Held on the grounds of the historic (and once top-secret) Gromov Flight Research Institute (LII) in the suburb of Zhukovsky, the exposition has become the showcase event for aerospace enterprises in Russia and other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Five months ago, on February 20, the long-awaited creation of Russia’s new Unified Aircraft Co. (OAK, in its Russian acronym) became official when President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ordering the immediate amalgamation of all Russian aircraft building enterprises into one large group.
Bristow Helicopters subsidiary Aviashelf has achieved the first certification of a HUMS (health and usage monitoring system) fitted to a Mil Mi-8, by the Russian Federal Aviation Authority.
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