“Aviastar-SP” is the largest aircraft maker in Russia. Based in Ulyanovsk, it produces a heavy transport craft, Il-76MD-90A, and the passenger plane, Tu-204. It used to make the biggest cargo planes An-124 “Ruslan” as well. Today it only provides their maintenance.
Currently “Aviastar-SP” participates in production of a new long-haul aircraft, the MS-21 – Sukhoi Superjet 100.
We are going to join blogger gelio and have a closer look at the working process of the company.
The aircraft complex was founded in Ulyanovsk in 1976, it’s the newest aircraft corporation in Russia.
Production facilities occupy hundreds of hectares – more than a thousand.
The main office of “Aviastar” has an unusual design, not so typical for Soviet architecture. The decorative capsule atop was made in 1987 with help of helicopter Mi-10. This lattice structure made the building 100 meters higher.
“Aviastar” is a vertically integrated factory – starting from metal casting and going all the way through to the delivery of a completed product to a customer.
Production consists of several stages. Following the necessary preparation, the aircraft components go to the assembly shop.
About ten thousand people are occupied at the factory.
Almost 1/3 of all personnel are workers under 35.
Production is provided by more than 400 equipment units.
Mechanized central warehouse where finished components are stored.
They have plenty of work to do, some shops work are double-shifted, when necessary people work overtime.
Cockpit canopy assembly.
Most of the work falls on serial production of Il-76MD-90A. In 2015 the company delivered two units of Il-76 ready for operation. The third one is going to complete tests soon.
They are building ten planes of the Il family now.
There is one more promising modifications in the Il family, produced by “Aviastar” – bowser Il-78M-90A. They are almost done with wing butting. In 2016 they plan to finish production of the first Russian bowser.
Quality of assembly is under strict control.
Final assembly shop.
The area enables to simultaneously assembly at least eight narrow-bodied and three wide-bodied planes.
Shop length — 500 meters, width — 100 meters.
Its height is 36 meters – its like a twelve-story building!
Since 1990 “Aviastar” has been making Tu-204 planes with different modifications. It was developed to substitute passenger aircraft Tu-154.
Tu-204-300 is the first Russian aircraft able to perform long flights without refuelling (for example Moscow-Vladivostok flight lasting nine hours).
Planes Tu-204-300 are equipped with energy-efficient engines PS-90A meeting all noice floor requirements.
Control systems adjustment.
Nose cone is attached..
Assembly of the luggage rack.
Today, apart from satysfying general civil purposes, Tu-204 is being used by the special air crew “Russia” working for the Russian President.
An-124 “Ruslan” is a heavy transport aircraft, the largest serially produced plane. It can do what others can’t.
It was initially planned to organize An-124 production in Kiev, but construction of the factory in Ulyanovsk changed the plans. In general the corporation has built 36 planes of this type.
However they do not make it anymore but provide modernization.
“Aviastar” together with the Irkutsk aviation factory participates in production of a new long-haul aircraft MS-21. It supplies some assemblies to Irkutsk where final assembly is performed.
In 2016 MS-21 is going to fly up in the sky.
After the final assembly Il-76s and Tu-204s are transported to the flight-test base 12 km away from the factory.
Performance tests last 4-5 weeks.
Heavy transport aircraft Il-76MD-90A is a modernized version of the tried and proven IL-76MD produced in Uzbekistan.
It is intended for trans-regional transportation of troops, large heavy equipment, landing operations, movement of patients and fire-fighting operations.
How has it been modified? New engines, control systems, new wings and beefed-up gear. Max. payload was increased to 60 tons, max. takeoff weight – to 210 tons.
There is a ramp in the cargo hold that may take up any position when loading or unloading.
People can be transported in the cargo hold, seats can be demounted when needed. Single-decker provides transportation of 100 militarymen, double-decker – more.
“Glass” cockpit has digital displays and three smart dashboards.
Painting is done in a special shop that is 96х96х36 meters.
Flight tests are done at the airfield Ulyanovsk-Vostochniy with a runway five kilometers long. It’s the fourth longest runway in the world.
Thanks to gelio for the interesting photo report!