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The International Aviation and Space Salon was held for the 15th time. Moscow engineers showed the latest developments: 3D-printed engines and wings, self-healing composites and the successor of the AN-2 aircraft.

The XV International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS-2021), which was held from 20 to 25 July, ended in Zhukovsky near Moscow. 829 companies from 56 countries took part in it. More than 20 organizations are capital enterprises of the aviation and rocket and space industries. Moscow is the headquarters of the Russian aviation industry, 42 enterprises of the industry work here: engineering centers, experimental design bureaus, research institutes. And every year Moscow industrialists present their innovative developments at MAKS.

“In 2020 alone, the industry’s enterprises produced aviation products worth more than 140 billion rubles. Eight companies have the status of an industrial complex, which allows them to save money due to the preferences provided by the city and invest them in the modernization of production. Thanks to the city’s support, at least three airlines plan to invest over one billion rubles in their own development by the end of this year, ”said the Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Economic Policy and Property and Land Relations

Vladimir Efimov.

Digital design and composite lightness

The Moscow experimental design bureau “Sukhoi” is the largest Russian aviation holding, which has existed for more than 80 years.

During the air show, the company presented a new light tactical aircraft (LTS) Checkmate – a fifth-generation single-engine fighter, which was also designed by Moscow industrialists. It is equipped with innovative solutions and technologies, for example, artificial intelligence can be involved in piloting. Of the features – the fighter is hardly noticeable and has high flight performance: for example, according to the calculations of the developers, at high altitudes the aircraft will be able to fly twice as fast as the speed of sound. It is expected that serial deliveries of LTS can begin in 2026–2027.

Rossiya Airlines has signed a contract for the supply of 15 Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ 100) aircraft developed by the Moscow design bureau of Regional Aircraft, a subsidiary of the Irkut aircraft building corporation. The SSJ 100 is the first domestic passenger aircraft to be created using digital design.

Also, Irkut Corporation and Rossiya Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the commissioning of the MC-21 medium-range aircraft. Within the framework of the approved plan, it is necessary to train flight personnel and cabin crew members, organize maintenance of new equipment, finalize information systems, obtain permits and develop a model for performing maintenance at airports of a potential route network.

The airliner was developed by specialists of the Moscow Engineering Center named after A.S. Yakovleva. Its feature is wings made of composite materials. With a smaller width, longer and less weight, they have sufficient strength.

Another, more noticeable, advantage is space. In MS-21, the diameter of the fuselage was increased. This made it possible to expand the personal space of passengers, and now, for example, in the aisle, you can bypass the service trolley.

Printed engine and flying “Baikal”

One of the MAKS-2021 premieres was the LMS-901 Baikal light multipurpose aircraft. On the instructions of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, it was developed by the Baikal Engineering company together with the experimental aircraft design bureau of the Moscow Aviation Institute. Flight tests of the novelty are planned to begin before the end of 2021.

It is assumed that “Baikal” will be able to replace the AN-2 biplane and improve the transport accessibility of remote settlements in the regions. The light aircraft is equipped with ski, wheel-ski and float landing gear. Therefore, it can be operated in the most remote places, including the Arctic.

“Baikal” is designed for nine passengers and can carry two tons of cargo. Its main advantages are simplicity of design, safety, small size, high speed and the possibility of longer flights – up to 1500 kilometers – without refueling. LMS-901 is universal: it can be used for both cargo transportation and rescue operations.

The future belongs to 3D printing – this was once again proved by the All-Russian Research Institute of Aviation Materials (VIAM). It was here that in 2014, for the first time in Russia, a full-cycle additive manufacturing appeared.

At the air show, the institute presented small-sized gas turbine engines MGTD-20 and MGTD-150. For example, 70 percent of the parts of the MGTD-150 engine were made on a printer used for printing three-dimensional objects. And the material for the parts is metal-powder compositions developed at VIAM. Its development was also facilitated by digital design. The new engine has no analogues in Russia, and in its characteristics it surpasses foreign developments. The younger model MGTD-20 was also made using 3D printing.

Ion engine, plasmatron and “Angara”

According to the head of the Department of Investment and Industrial Policy Alexander Prokhorov, more than 20 enterprises of the rocket and space industry operate in the capital. Six of them took part in the air show this year.

So, he presented his developments at the State Space Research and Production Center named after M.V. Khrunicheva, traditional participant of the exhibition.

In 2001, he launched the Proton-M launch vehicle. More modern, with a new control system and a high level of operational and environmental characteristics, it replaced the Proton-K. The old rocket delivered the Zarya and Zvezda modules to the ISS orbit, as well as all the Salyut stations and the Mir station modules.

But the latest generation of “Protons” is preparing a change. Models of the Angara-A5 heavy launch vehicle, its promising modernized version Angara-A5M and the Angara-A5V heavy-duty launch vehicle were presented at the airshow.

Angara is primarily distinguished by the type of fuel used. The new rockets will run on more environmentally friendly fuel than heptyl – oxygen and kerosene. It is planned that the “Angara” will be launched from the Russian spaceports Plesetsk and Vostochny.

The Khrunichev Center also presented other promising developments: for example, the oxygen-hydrogen upper stage KBTK, which will significantly expand the capabilities of Angara rockets for single and group launching of spacecraft into high-energy orbits.

And the Moscow Research Center named after M.V. Keldysh, in turn, introduced a new generation of self-controlling, or self-healing, composite material. The composite consists of layers with different properties, and when cut or punctured, it quickly recovers its structure. The self-healing effect is achieved due to the fact that layered structures are able to provide rapid mass transfer to the damaged area. Such composites can restore the tightness of inflatable systems and eliminate gas leaks. They will help protect from microdamage, for example, deploying modules of storage and technical premises, modules of lunar stations, protection systems for residential modules.

But the main premiere of the Keldysh center at the air show is the ID-200KR ion engine. It was created to correct the orbit of geostationary satellites (with their help, GLONASS, GPS, weather stations work, TV signals are broadcast). In an electric field, the engine accelerates the ionized gas to create jet thrust. At the same time, fuel consumption is less than that of chemical engines. Ion engines are now used to control satellites and small spacecraft.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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