Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) is further reshaping its business structure to bring its latest commercial aircraft, the Irkut MC-21 and Ilyushin Il-114-300, successfully to the market. For this, the Board has created a new role as Deputy General Director for Civil Aviation and appointed Andrey Boginsky. He will also take over as General Director of Irkut Corporation, UAC said in a media statement on December 1. UAC changes leadership as Irkut MC-21 nears entry into service.
UAC has been busy in the past couple of years to further integrate the commercial aircraft programs of Irkut, Ilyushin, and Sukhoi. Sukhoi was placed under the responsibility of Irkut, itself created in 2002 and the first Russian defense company in 2004 to trade its shares on the stock market. In 2007, Irkut became the head contractor for the MC-21, the single-aisle airliner that was launched that same year as a competitor to the Boeing 737NG and Airbus A320ceo. To this day, Irkut produces both civil and military aircraft.
Since 2019, Irkut Corporation was led by Ravil Khakimov, who at the same time acted as president of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. Under his leadership, the Sukhoi SSJ100 program was streamlined to improve the efficiency of both the aircraft and the aftersales while preparing the MC-21 for certification after the aircraft started its flight test program in 2017. Khakimov will move to another, unspecified role.
“I am grateful to Ravil Khakimov for his significant contribution to strengthening the position of Russian civilian equipment in the domestic market, improving the efficiency of operation of Superjet 100 aircraft and the sustainable implementation of the MC-21 program, taking into account the impact of external factors,” said UAC President, Yuri Slyusar, in a media statement.
Andrey Boginsky, the new Deputy General for Civil Aviation for UAC and the new boss of Irkut Corporation. (UAC)
Andrey Ivanovich Boginsky joins the civil aerospace program, having been Director General and President of Russian Helicopters since 2017. “Under his leadership, the holding implemented a number of promising civilian projects and achieved record sales of civilian equipment, increasing its share in the total volume of deliveries from 8.4 percent in 2016 to 46 percent by the end of 2020.” As Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade, Boginsky has overseen the implementation of Russia’s commercial aircraft strategy that includes the MC-21 and Il-114-300 for which he will now bear responsibility.
Smooth transition to serial production
Boginsky’s role will be to make a smooth transition for both programs from the development and testing phase to serial production and entry into service. The Irkut MC-21 is expected to win its Russian type certificate may be as early as this year or otherwise in the first months of 2022, moving towards entry into service with Aeroflot-subsidiary Rossiya most likely around July or August, Vice President of Marketing, Kirill Budaev, indicated in a media briefing at the Dubai Airshow. Last Monday, the first production aircraft destined for Rossiya rolled out from the assembly line in Irkutsk (main picture). The aircraft, which is the first with wings made from Russian composites instead of US ones, will now be inspected and prepared for its first flight.
The Il-114-300 is now almost a year into its flight test program since the first flight on December 16, 2020. The second aircraft has been in assembly for some months, but the delivery of the first aircraft to Aurora Airlines or Vologda Aviation Enterprise is not planned until 2023. The production rate will be low at just one per month.
Irkut has higher hopes for ramping up the production. It has prepared for a maximum capacity of six aircraft per month of 72 per year, Budaev said. While the order book has 175 firm orders and “several hundreds of MoU’s”, it will be Boginsky’s task to capitalize on the market opportunities for both the Pratt & Whitney-powered MC-21-300 and the Aviadvigatel-powered -310 version. As the UAC media statement points out: “The civic business of the UAC should become a key point of growth, to provide 50% of the corporation’s total revenue by 2030.”
Under Boginksy, UAC will also work on updating the Sukhoi SSJ100 program, which includes the latest Aviadvigatel PD-8 engines as part of a broader aim to replace non-Russian systems with home-made ones.