Photo: Pavel Ptitsyn
Irkut Corporation together with Platov South-Russian State Polytechnic University has created the first domestically made composite fiber laying robot. The robot will phase out foreign equipment and will be used for mass production of “black” wings for the latest MC-21 aircraft. All key components, including software and process control systems, are made in Russia.
Composite or “black” wing – is one of the MC-21’s benefits which allows to reduce the airframe weight and improve lift-drag ratio of the aircraft. Robots are used for automatic carbon tape laying in order to form a future component Carbon tape is heated using laser and bonded together with the previous layer. Continuous laying process is ensured by using bobbin-wound tape 3000 to 3500 meters in length. Previously, equipment for this operation was purchased abroad, however, supplies were stopped after the sanctions imposed on Russia.
“The MC-21 – is an essential airplane for our country, because stability of Russian air transport system depends on it to a great extent. We have phased out the imports of composite materials in the aircraft wing within the shortest possible period of time. For this, the approval of main changes in the standard aircraft design was obtained from the Federal Air Transport Agency. Now, we have created a Russian laying robot for domestically made “black” wings that is as good as foreign counterparts and surpasses them to a great extent,” said Vladimir Artyakov, Deputy General Director of Rostec.