Aluminium alloy maker Alcoa signed an agreement with Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) to supply advanced metallic materials, modern structural concepts and manufacturing technologies for UAC's future generation civilian aircraft.
Russian government-owned UAC designs, manufactures, sells, maintains and upgrades civilian and military aircraft.
The agreement was signed at the Moscow International Aviation and Space Salon in the ongoing Moscow air show. It is part of UAC's plan to become the third largest civilian aircraft manufacturer in the world by 2015.
The UAC-Alcoa agreement is an important step to further develop technical and commercial opportunities, and for the implementation of these solutions on UAC modifications for improvement of its commercially manufactured aircraft. The main UAC-Alcoa technology cooperation objectives are:
- To upgrade commercially manufactured materials by Alcoa's Samarra and Belaya Kalitya (BK) plants
- To develop competitive and advanced metallic structures for next generation civil aircraft using advanced metallic materials, modern structural concepts and manufacturing technologies
- Drop-in-replacement of modern fastening elements in commercially manufactured civilian aircraft
- Wide application of fastening elements in future generation civil aircraft
As part of the memorandum of understanding (MOU), Alcoa will open an aerospace technology centre in Russia to develop specific competencies to support integrated product teams. It will conduct extensive test of Russian and western alloys and products in close interaction with Russian research institutes and universities, for strength, damage tolerance and fatigue.
It will also evaluate Alcoa-Russian alloys and products coming from Alcoa's Samara and Belaya Kalitva facilities, provide supporting certifications and qualifications of western alloys and products for Russian aircraft applications (beginning in the fourth quarter of 2007), improve its understanding of Russian aircraft design principles and rules, and utilise Alcoa proprietary trade-studies and design tools for aircraft structure.
The Alcoa Aerospace Technology Centre is expected to begin work in 2008. The technology cooperation activities will be supported by integrated product teams that will design and create major components - such as wings and fuselage - for the next generation of Russian civil aircraft. These teams will develop, evaluate and realise the most promising technical options in concurrent engineering processes. The integrated teams will draft their joint activities plans before the end of 2007.
Materials included in the supply arrangement - including proprietary alloys, heat-treated sheets and plates, hard-alloy extrusions, and forgings - will be supplied from Alcoa's Samara and Belaya Kalitva aluminium fabricating plants, which are approximately 1,000 km from Moscow.
Owned 90 per cent by the Russian government, UAC was formed by a merger of Sukhoi Aviation Holding Company, Irkut Corporation, Ilyushin Finance Corp, Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association, Joint Stock Company (JSC) Ilyushin Aviation Complex, Nizhny Novgorod Aircraft building plant, Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association, JSC Tupolev, and the Finance Leasing Company.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets.