AeroComposit, a subsidiary of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), has commenced work on the airframe for the CR929, the Chinese-Russian airliner. Reportedly, the company has just begun producing the wing for the wide-body jet.
The news was revealed on November 19, 2021, at Composites without borders, an online forum for Russian composite materials manufacturers, Media73.ru reports.
In a post on the forum, deputy general director of Irkut, Anatoly Gaydansky, wrote: “The production lines of the AeroComposit factory in Ulyanovsk are busy almost to 100%. The factory is working on two main projects. One of them is manufacturing the wings and the central box of the MC-21. […] The second one – manufacturing wings for the Russian-Chinese CR929.”
He continued: “We are working on the prototypes [of the CR929] and developing the manufacturing processes.”
In September 2021, production of the prototype officially began at COMAC’s factory in Linang, although it was not announced what part of the airliner would be manufactured at the site.
The CR929 was conceived as a Chinese-Russian co-production from the onset. Russia’s biggest contribution will be composite parts that make up most of the airframe, including the wings and the fuselage.
AeroComposit owns the main composite material production facilities in Russia. The company manufactures composite wings of the MC-21 airliner, as well as some parts for the SSJ New, an updated version of the SSJ100 regional jet.
The CR929 will be a long-range wide-body airliner designed to compete with Boeing and Airbus wide-body jets, primarily the787 Dreamliner and the A330neo.
The aircraft will be produced by CRAIC, a joint venture of China’s COMAC and Russia’s UAC.
The project was launched in 2014, but was slowed down by numerous difficulties. For most of 2020, COMAC and UAC were locked in a bitter confrontation over the sales rights of the aircraft, which caused delays and pushed back the jet’s first delivery dates to 2028-2029.