Here at the Paris Air show on Monday, Sukhoi unveiled a mockup of its Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) forward fuselage section, including the new flight deck supplied by Thales. The RRJ is the first Russian-made commercial aircraft with fly-by-wire side-stick controls and has Category IIIa landing capability as standard; Category IIIb is optional.
Messier-Dowty, here at Le Bourget in Hall 2 Stand D14, is highlighting a wide variety of landing gear technology for a range of commercial and military aircraft, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Sukhoi Russian Regional Jet and the Airbus A340-500/600, all new displays at the Paris Air Show.
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.
Airlines around the world in the market for equipment to serve the emerging 100-seat sector have no fewer than five choices to evaluate here at the Paris Air Show this week. Bombardier with its new C Series and Embraer with the 190/195 family enjoy a high profile, but alternative programs conceived farther east won’t easily let the Western airframers steal the show.
“Stealth does not make you invisible,” said the Russian designer sitting across the table at an out-of-the way institute in Moscow. “It makes an aircraft more survivable–but the concept that it is the only path to increasing the survivability of a military aircraft is wrong. We have taken a different approach from the U.S.”
There are those in Russia who ask if the state’s plan to create a Unified Aircraft Corporation is a 21st century repeat of Stalin’s failed collectivization experiment of the late 1920s.
Russian fifth-generation fighter programs could undergo major revisions to meet India’s requirements, following Sukhoi’s offer of an export version of the latest T-50 model. With India as a major importer of Russian defense equipment (purchases last year accounted for $1.8 billion), Sukhoi and its rival/possible collaborator can ill-afford to be out of sync with the Asian power’s military agenda.
Celebrating the fifth anniversary since its formation, Rosoboronexport has successfully promoted the sale of Russian aerospace products, valued at more than $5 billion, for the last couple of years. The company manages about 90 percent of Russian defense exports and current orders totaling some $12 billion will keep the country’s factories busy into at least 2008.
As competition to meet demands for advanced jet trainers in the region intensifies, Irkut is promoting the Yak-130 now entering production to meet a Russian Air Force requirement. Selected in 2002 as the principal aircraft for basic and advanced training, the Yak-130 has only recently begun rolling off the Irkut production line against an initial order for 12.
Three years after its creation, Irkut Corp. has established itself as a key player in still evolving aerospace and defense industry. It is one of the main pillars of the country’s new OAK conglomerate which aspires to become a sort of Russian equivalent to Europe’s EADS group.