Irkut Corporation and the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky have completed static tests of the MC-21. During the final test cycle, carried out at TsAGI in 2022, the aircraft’s strength characteristics were confirmed.
In previous years TsAGI conducted a series of static strength tests of the airframe, during which it was subjected to loads significantly exceeding the operational ones. For the tests preparation scheduled for 2022, the airframe underwent a restoration repair in the laboratory. This ensured that in 2022 the MC-21 airframe was tested for its ability to withstand loads during a hard landing, i.e. a landing with excessive vertical speed.
As part of these tests, various load levels were implemented: within the operational environment, then to the maximum design level, and to the destruction of the airframe (determination of load bearing capacity). The results fully confirmed all the design’s parameters.
The case of an emergency landing was also analyzed. The tests were carried out with a wing box made of Russian composite materials. In the case of an emergency landing, the controlled destruction of the "weak links" of the main landing gear and its separation from the wing box is foreseen to avoid the danger of fuel leakage. During testing, it was proved that when maximum loads are exceeded, the landing gear separates safely from the aircraft.