Russian MC-21 makes first flight with Solvay materials

The MC-21 is the only single-aisle passenger plane with composite wing structures manufactured by AeroComposit with out-of-autoclave resin infusion technology.

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Solvay Group (Tempe, Ariz.) congratulates United Aircraft Corp.'s (Moscow, Russia) Irkut Corp. (Irkutsk, Russia) and sister company AeroComposit (Moscow, Russia) on the first flight of the MC-21 aircraft. The MC-21 is the only single-aisle passenger plane with composite wing structures manufactured by AeroComposit with out-of-autoclave resin infusion technology. (CW's Jeff Sloan has blogged on the infused wing, here's the link: www.compositesworld.com/blog/post/ms-21-ooa-wing-and-wing-box-near-first-flight, and read Ginger Gardiner's article about the wing and wing box here: www.compositesworld.com/articles/resin-infused-ms-21-wings-and-wing-box). The plane is actually known as the "MS-21" in Russia, but in Western stories gets referred to as the MC-21 because the Cyrillic letter “S” looks exactly like the Latin letter "C". 

Solvay’s resin infusion material technology was selected to manufacture the wing structures, which included trademarked dry carbon fiber slit tape PRISM TX 1100 and PRISM EP 2400 toughened resin. “For Solvay, the choice of United Aircraft Corp. and AeroComposit to use out-of-autoclave carbon fiber composites to manufacture primary structure components such as wings, is a significant step in the wider adoption of these materials in large aircraft primary structures. Our unique technology improves the design and manufacturing efficiency of complex parts, offering cost benefits as well as critical advantages in lightweighting and fuel efficiency,” says Carmelo Lo Faro, president of Solvay’s composite materials global business unit. “We wish the MC-21 team success in the next stages.”

For a fantastically detailed demonstration of how the wing and wing box are produced, try this link to a Russian blog site, with many detailed pictures: http://russos.livejournal.com/1307364.html. Watch the Irkut video of the first flight here: