by Sergei MAKAROV, journalist
In August 2005 the town of Zhukovsky near Moscow was the venue of the Seventh International Aerospace Salon, one of the world's largest in the number of participants and exhibits. Put on display were the latest models of aerospace hardware. One was the MiG-29M fighter plane with a variable thrust vector that makes it supermaneuverable, that is the machine can fly at very low (even close to zero) velocities without any angle-of-attack restrictions. Well and good, but what about the vehicles still on the drawing board? Their sketch outlines may look rather odd now and then, and yet aviators say: such air- and spacecraft are to replace the present models in the next few years.
AIRCRAFT OF THE NEW CENTURY
The press-conference on the project bearing a rather symbolic name-"Main Liner of the 21st century (MS-21)"- brought together a cohort of aerospace demons: Oleg Demchenko, Director General of the OKB (Design office) named after the Soviet aircraft designer Alexander Yakovlev; Victor Livanov, Director General of the Aviation Complex named after the Soviet designer Sergei Ilyushin; Director General and Chief Designer Igor Shevchuk, of the Design Office (OKB) named after Andrei Tupolev; and Vladimir Dmitriev, head of the Central Aerohydrodynamics Institute (TsAGI) named after Nikolai Zhukovsky, the father of modern aviation. This get-together was significant in many ways: the captains of the Russian aerospace industry decided to join hands on an essentially novel airliner, though each of them heads a giant company of world fame. And yet...
Let's begin with the statistics. According to forecasts made the Research Institute of Civil Aviation, by the year 2015 this country's air traffic will have to be increased by 2 to 2.5 times to meet the demand, and the scope of air transportation will have to be upped 4.5 fold by the year 2025. Simultaneously, these years will see a wholesale withdrawal of operational planes written off due ... Читать далее