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Antonov An-148 shows high proportion of composite materials

VASO development of composite technologies of advanced composites

The photographs of the Antonov An-148 regional jet made on June 11, 2009, when the first example of the aircraft built in Russia rolled out from the assembly shop of the Voronezh plant VASO, give a clue on the scale of composite materials usage. The aircraft was depicted when it undergoing high-inside-pressure tests in the open. Parts made of composite materials come in grey colors, in a contrast to airframe components made of aluminum, with yellow-green color appearance. Almost all construction materials in the An-148 airframe are Russian-made. The total weight of the composite parts is above 2,500kg, or about 12% of the aircraft empty weight.

Wing's leading and trailing edges and spoilers/interceptors are made of carbon plastics. Nosecone, fairings of the wing-to-fuselage attachment points and undercarriage fairings, as well as engine nacelle surfaces are made of glass plastics.

The Voronezh plant produces all of the named airframe parts using production facilities of its own. When setting up An-148 production line, VASO made special effort on implementation of new, advanced technologies in parts manufacturing. In particular, the rudder and the moving stabilizer are integral, one-piece (non-disassembling) parts. Upper and lower outer surfaces, as well as the inner force-bearing structural members are formed in the autoclave in a single pass (heat treatment operation). This manufacturing method represents most advanced technology in the field of composite parts production available elsewhere. This and related technologies were proposed by Russian inventors. They were mastered and perfected at VASO. In the system of United Aircraft Corporation, VASO acts as the center of competence for composite materials. The plant supplies composite parts to Sukhoi Superjet 100 and prepares for production of similar parts to other aircraft types.

In frame of the advanced composite production effort at VASO, the plant formed a dedicated high-tech production unit that includes a workshop specializing on polymeric composite materials and a workshop producing composite subassemblies. The unit also includes design and technologic department able to provide support for the whole set of technological steps starting from design of a part and preproduction preparations to streamlined production of airframe assemblies. The unit operates autonomously of other plant's units.

VASO continues efforts on renovation of production tools. Among recent acquisitions are a machine tool for cutting "prepregs" (glass fiber after treatment with greases) and laser projectors. Next in line is a five-axis machine tool for streamlined production of semi-prepared parts.

Press release issued by VASO Voronezh Aircraft Joint Stock Company on June 23, 2009


 Contact details from our directory:
VASO Voronezh Aircraft Joint Stock Company Final Assembly, Empennages


 Related aircraft programs:
Antonov An-148


 Related directory sectors:
Manufacturing Services
Airframe Assemblies

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