Strength Test Stage Successfully Completed for MC 21 Russian-Composite Wing Box
29 March 2022
Rostec’s UAC and TsAGI (a part of NRC “Zhukovsky Institute”) successfully completed a milestone stage of static tests of MC-21 wing box, manufactured completely from Russian polymer composites. To confirm its strength, it was exposed to the destruction loads greatly exceeding those possible in a real flight.
Aircraft safety regulations require that a wing box should withstand the so-called calculation load during static tests, which, in turn, exceeds the ultimate possible operational load by one and a half. At TsAGI test facility, the wing box was destroyed at a load which was more than the calculated one. The tests were performed in a specially simulated climate conditions. To consider thermal influence on composite strength characteristics, the wing box was partially heated.
‘Successful tests confirmed the validity of strength calculation methods for composite units. It was experimentally proved that the main strength unit of the wing—the wing box—provides strength and safety during the worst combination of flight conditions. Wings for all currently designed aircraft will be produced with domestic materials,’ said UAC’s General Director Yuri Slyusar.
The wing box was manufactured by JSC AeroKompozit, a branch of Irkut Corporation (a part of Rostec’s UAC).
‘Developing civil aviation requires harmonious cooperation between science and industry. At TsAGI, we have created a state-of-the-art test base, which is used by professionals. This allows us to do a great amount of research under MC-21 innovation program, jointly with Irkut Corporation,’ said Kirill Sypalo, Director General of TsAGI, Corresponding Member of the RAS.
Russian materials for composite load wing structures were developed by scientists from the MSU, Rosatom, and by aircraft industrialists. MC-21-300, whose wing was manufactured from Russian composites, had its maiden flight on December 25, 2021. Before that, a great number of ground tests had been performed; they revealed that the domestic composites meet the aircraft’s structural requirements.