Eighth MS-21 serial aircraft assembled at Irkutsk Aviation Plant

Photo by © TG-channel Notes of Aircraft Builders

The eighth set of serial MS-21 aircraft has arrived at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant’s workshop No. 249 for one of the final stages of assembly. According to the TG channel Aircraft Builders’ Notes, this is where the wing consoles are joined to the middle wing of the future airliner.

Plant 249 is preparing to increase serial production of the MS-21 aircraft. Over the next two years, the plant is expected to produce 22 aircraft per year, then 36, and then 72. The shop’s engineering staff is taking steps to shorten the assembly cycle, for example by piloting a sealant to reduce vulcanisation time so that the next stages of joining the wing consoles can begin much earlier.

At the end of February, the left wing pylon was installed at the F10 station, where the wing pylon sections are assembled, and accurately positioned according to the levelling points. During pre-alignment, specialists carefully aligned the structure by placing it in the centre plane, then measured and corrected the gaps by filling them with special spacers.

“The next step was to adapt the tooling to the specimens and drill the holes using an automatic feed machine. The cantilever was then separated from the centre frame, and burrs and chamfers were removed. The final stage was the installation of the wing and the application of sealant to ensure reliable connection of all structural elements,” the aircraft builders told the Russian Aviation website.

The first mass-produced MS-21 aircraft will start carrying passengers in the first half of 2026 at the earliest. Currently, import substitution of units and aircraft systems is underway, and flights to certify individual components and updated software for the PD-14 engine control system are in progress.