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Russian Aircraft Manufacturers
September 13, 2007 14:18

Nowadays Russia is not sufficiently represented at the world aviation market, since the key roles are played by foreign aircraft manufacturers. However, it doesn’t mean Russians have nothing to be proud of in the field of aircraft construction. Here you can find the information about Russian leading aircraft builders and design bureaus.

Sukhoi (JSC)

Pavel Sukhoi

Sukhoi Company is one of the most well-known aircraft design bureaus dating back to 1930, when Pavel Sukhoi was appointed the head of the bureau. In the following years the company produced several experimental fighters; the long-range DB-2 bomber, an upgraded version of which, called Rodina, was used by the all-female crew under V.S. Grizodubova to perform a non-stop flight from Moscow to the Far East; The multi-role BB-1 aircraft (after 1940 known as the Su-2), which was the first Sukhoi series aircraft to be produced in large numbers (910 planes) and in its short-range bomber and artillery recon/spotter versions took an active part in the Great Patriotic War.

After the World War II the bureau focused on construction of new fighters, bombers, and supersonic aircrafts. Te most frequently used name was Su, its different versions are still popular and sold abroad. Su-17 was the USSR's first airplane with a variable sweep wing.

Superjet 100

In 1969 the development of a fourth-generation fighter was initiated, and in 1977 the prototype Su-27 fighter made its first flight. In the following years the Su-27 platform was used to produce the Su-27UB, Su-30, Su-32, and Su-33. In the 1990s the company turned to production of civil planes. In October 2007 Super Jet 100 is to make its first flight, though the company has many orders from different countries now.

Over many decades, the Design Bureau's team has developed about 100 aircraft types and versions, with 60+ types put into production, giving a total of 10,000 production airplanes.

Today, employing about 28 000 people, Sukhoi Company is totally controlled by the government and comprises 6 subdivisions including Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, Sukhoi Design Bureau, KnAAPO, NAPO, Tantk and Irkut SPC.

Tupolev (Public-stock Company)

Andrei Tupolev

Tupolev Design bureau, established in 1922, is known to every Russian citizen, who has ever flown by Tu 134 or 154 planes. They are probably not as comfortable as Boeing models, but you should never forget they were built on the platform of military aircrafts produced by the Company for the Soviet Defense Industry. The Bureau was long time headed by Andrey N.Tupolev – a prominent aircraft designer of the XX century.

For over 80 years the Design Bureau designed and developed more than 300 projects of air vehicles of different types and small aircraft. Almost 90 projects were embodied in metal and about 40 projects were realized in serial production. More than 18 thousands aircraft with “TU” logo were lifted in to the skies of our country in the XX century.

In the 1990s the Design Bureau was incorporated in to a new structure – “TUPOLEV” PSC comprising besides the Design Bureau test facility and serial aircraft manufacturing plant “AVIASTAR” in Ulyanovsk.

Today the main projects of the company are TU 204, 334, 330, 444 aircraft families and some others.


Artiom Mikoyan

Mig is another Russian aircraft corporation, which was the first national aircraft manufacturer. Its history dates back to the end of the 19th century, when the DUX factory of home-made industry was established in Moscow.

In 1909 after successful construction of the first national airship in cooperation with other factories, the DUX factory starts assembling the airplanes and the same year completes the production of the first airplane. In the 20-s, state aircraft-building plant No.1 (GAZ No.1) was established on the base of the DUX factory.

But the most flourishing period of the company is traditionally associated with the name of Artiom Mikoyan, an aircraft designer. The first aircraft - MiG-1 and its modification - MiG-3 developed by the Mikoyan design bureau were produced in series at the plant till October 1941 when, owing to the threat of Moscow capture by Nazis, GAZ No.1 plant and its design division headed by A.I. Mikoyan were moved to the city of Samara (Kuybishev). Later they returned to Moscow. The developer of the "MiG" family aircraft - Mikoyan Design Bureau which is now an integral part of the RAC "MiG" celebrated its 60th anniversary in December, 1999. During six decades this famous Russian design bureau has developed about 450 projects of combat aircraft, of which 170 were built in prototype form and 94 types of vehicles were produced in series. During these years the Soviet and Russian aircraft manufacturing plants have produced 60,000 "MiG" family aircraft, of which 11,000 aircraft have been exported to more than 40 countries all over the world.

Mig 31

The RAC "MiG" is a full-cycle enterprise combining all aspects of production, sales, post-sale support and overhaul of MiG family aircraft. The MiG Corporation currently employs more than 14.5 thousand specialists.

Today the company’s main projects are the Mig 29 fighters family, Mig 31E (a two-seat supersonic fighter having no analogues over the world), IL 103 (Light utility aircraft), Mig 110 (multipurpose transport aircraft) and Aviatika Mai 890 (ultralight multipurpose aircraft).


Sergei Ilyushin

Ilyushin is commonly famous for its civil aircrafts, big, comfortable and safe. However, Ilyushin Aviation Complex also manufacturers military aircrafts such as IL 76MD, IL 76MF, IL 78MK and some others.

The Open Joint Stock Company «Ilyushin Aviation Complex» (JSC «IL») is one of the oldest enterprises in the area of aircraft development. It was founded in 1933, when the Central Design Bureau, headed by S.V. Ilyushin was established on the basis of the plant 39. From the very beginning, the aircraft developed by a new design bureau met recognition and worldwide fame.

The flight on October 2, 1939 became the first test for the unknown until then the TsKB-55 aircraft that was named later as the BSh-2 armored ground attack aircraft. In two years this aircraft became famous all over the world and known as a dreaded ground attack plane. The "Flying tank" played an outstanding role in the Great Patriotic War (World War II). Later the TsKB-55 ground attack aircraft was named as the IL-2 after its creator Ilyushin.

IL 2

During the post-war years, the ILYUSHIN team developed IL-22 four-engine bomber jet aircraft that began its test flights in 1947. This aircraft really became the first jet aircraft of its class in the USSR. The IL-22 aircraft test results and development experience allowed the ILYUSHIN team to build up in a short time IL-28 first jet front-line bomber.

In the 1970s the ILYUSHIN team developed IL-86 – a first Soviet wide-body airplane for 350 passengers. The aircraft was successfully built up and appropriately certified.

During a 70-year period of our enterprise activity, it produced the best samples of combat, passenger and cargo aircraft designed for various purposes.

Currently the Open Joint Stock Company «IL» is engaged in the development of the aircraft of the next generation – IL-112V, MS-21, MTA, IL-96-400.


Alexander Yakovlev

Yakovlev Design Bureau’s first aircraft took of in 1927 and since then lots of Yak family aircrafts have been manufactured. For the time of the Bureau’s existence the corporation has produced more than 200 types and modifications of flying vehicles and over 100 of them were in serial production.

The total number of aircrafts the corporation made is over 70 000. the company produced and produces a great diversity of flying vehicles including trainers and combat-trainers (yak 11, Yak 18, Yak 30, yak 52, etc), unmanned aircrafts (Pchela), vertical take-off/landing aircrafts (Yak 36, Yak 38, Yak 141), passenger aircrafts (Yak 40 and 42), supersonic aircrafts (Yak 28PM and 28U), general aviation aircrafts (Yak 8, Yak 12, Yak 16), land troops gliders and helicopters (Yak 14 and 24), jet fighters (Yak 15, Yak 17, Yak 27, etc) and early fighters (Air 1, Air 2, Air 3, etc.).

The diversity of products, that typical for A.S.Yakovlev Design Bureau, is the result of efficient organization of labor as well as its team self-denying and harmonious efforts.


Legal advice on Russian legislation




Olga Pletneva

Tags: Russian business aircraft Russian companies   

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