Apr 20, 2022
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“Boeings” and “Airbuses” will become Russified – when in the Russian Federation they begin to produce spare parts for them

Boeings and Airbuses will become Russified - when in the Russian Federation they begin to produce spare parts for them

Photo: Dmitry Feoktistov / TASS

The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Transport of Russia decided to estimate the prospects for the production of parts for foreign aircraft in the Russian Federation. Air carriers and service companies have been instructed to provide data on spare parts that Rosaviatsia takes on a pencil. Will we be able to independently produce parts in the country and is it necessary at all? So far, it is clear that first you need to deal with consumables such as oil filters, which have to be changed every seven hundred flight hours, Izvestia writes.

Honored Pilot of the USSR, former Deputy Minister of Civil Aviation of the USSR Oleg Smirnov believes that the statement about rapid import substitution in aviation is nonsense:

– Firstly, all this will not end with oil filters. The decision to change the aircraft registration address from offshore to Russian without reaching the level of maintenance and production of spare parts at home was a forced response to the blow inflicted on us by the West. It’s not just about filters. I would immediately draw attention to the fact that we are talking about thousands of components, each of which can fail at any time – technology is technology. Our managers need to think not only about filters, putting them at the forefront, but also about the electronic component. One electronic board fails – that’s it, a huge plane will not be able to fly. You can’t buy it from either the Chinese or Koreans, only from manufacturers.

We should not look at the problem narrowly, repeating the mistakes of 1991. Now those people who ruined our industry have fled in all directions, including to Israel.

“SP”: – However, ten years ago, they wrote a lot about the fact that we have formed a whole industry for forgery, the manufacture of counterfeit aircraft parts. Can’t this be legalized now?

– Counterfeiting is still prohibited. You do not confuse the cases when spare parts are removed from a serviceable aircraft and put on another if the resource is not exhausted. The type of aircraft is the same, these parts are certified, made at the aircraft factory.

The aircraft is assembled from thousands of components, consisting of metals, plastics, and electronics. Everything is done not on the knee, but on special machines and factories prepared by people. In the aircraft industry, theoretical non-weldable joints are welded. Unfortunately, our Soviet aircraft, direct competitors to Western aircraft manufacturers, were forced out of the market thirty years ago.

Therefore, for a long time, up to 95% of all passenger air transportation, passenger turnover was carried out on imported aircraft. And so we cut off our wings.

“SP”: – For what they fought for something and ran into it. And what to do now?

– Statements that in a year or two we will have everything are overly optimistic. If the problem of producing one single component, the oil filter, is so difficult to solve, then in order to solve all aviation problems, multiply that by a thousand. After all, you need to produce thousands of components yourself.

It was not in vain that the President announced import substitution a few years ago. But during this time nothing has been done in the aviation industry. The destruction of our aircraft continued. The problems are colossal. Not a single program for the development of the aviation industry has been implemented over these thirty years.

There is only one way out – to work in a mobilization mode. Restore factories that should produce components and materials both for our aircraft under construction and for the Western ones that we have left, if you want to fly these Boeings and Airbuses. They will never be allowed into Europe, but over our country it is still possible if we master the production of components that fail at the end of their service life.

The main issue is personnel. Even in ancient Egypt, it was known that “cadres decide everything”, and Stalin only loudly repeated this statement. But not only repeated, but also carried out. It is necessary to remove everyone who revolves around the aircraft industry. It is necessary to look for those who will work for the state, and not for their own pocket. It is necessary to get rid of the vicious system – in order to receive a good salary, to destroy Russia as much as possible.

“SP” – Will we have new Tupolevs and Ilyushins, do you have in mind?

“I don’t see them today. Talented people, young new Tupolevs, Ilyushins and Antonovs are being wiped out, they are not needed. Low people do not like it when someone works better than them, more professional and more humane.

And it’s not just in aviation. Older people remember very well that in any apartment there was a domestic television, a refrigerator, a radio, furniture and clothes – all of their own production, up to toothbrushes. And in any textbook on economics for universities it is said that the state in which its production is established flourishes. Ours was torn down and destroyed. Now they got a kick, they stirred. But this movement will lead to nothing if the personnel policy is not changed…

So far, Russian air carriers and service companies are only studying the data on the range and volume of spare parts for foreign aircraft, which are indispensable for their operation in the Russian sky. As for the people called upon to make decisions, they came to the conclusion that “the enterprises of the Russian aviation industry are not engaged in the development and production of foreign aircraft.” This means that we have no competence in the manufacture of consumables for the maintenance and repair of foreign aircraft.

Here they will collect data, evaluate the possibilities – is it generally expedient to produce such parts and consumables in Russia? Will be evaluated jointly with the Agency for Technological Development. As long as at least five original parts for each position remain in stock, such a number is necessary for conducting 3D scanning, studying the composition of the material and determining the strength properties. Another important specification indicating the type of aircraft and the conditions of its operation.

Mikhail Maksimenko from Aviamasterwho sells aircraft parts, believes that aircraft oil filters are not the most high-tech part, not very different from the same car filters.

– The production of aircraft parts depends on how motivated the manufacturers are, how much they want to get for it, how profitable it is for them. And there will be demand for this kind of aircraft parts – this is one hundred percent.

“SP”: – You did not have any critical problems with spare parts, will you provide everything that you order?

– If we talk about foreign deliveries, then of course there are problems, like everyone else. They have been around since the end of February. We sell what we have in stock, and then we will look for alternative ways of working …

Meanwhile, while the correspondence of ministries and departments is being carried out slowly, without much haste, regular meetings are held on the issue of compiling a list of necessary spare parts. For regulatory authorities, the main thing is that the papers, operational and technical documentation for foreign liners, engines and spare parts for them are in order. And the Russian aircraft repair enterprises will somehow repair the equipment.

There are several companies that have already received permission from the Federal Air Transport Agency to service and repair Western airliners, previously they were mainly engaged in the repair of Russian Superjets.

Maintenance organizations could develop a repair scheme themselves. Boeing and Airbus are slipping away, they have withdrawn themselves, but there is a specialized State Research Institute of Civil Aviation, which will help in case of emergency. Scientists can analyze, advise operators – at the level of an idea, everything looks logical.

But to start your own production of even the simplest filters – according to estimates, it will not be possible earlier than in two or three years. Moreover, the certification of the Russian copy, replica will take a third of the time, if not more. But in the early thirties, exactly ninety years ago, for about the same period, entire aircraft were developed and put into serial production.

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