SSJ100 Is Russia’s First Paperless Aircraft

When most of us picture airplanes, we think of gleaming metal or super light carbon-derived materials. Very few of us think of the copious amounts of paper that are usually used up during the design phase of creating an aircraft. For years now, aircraft design has slowly become more and more computerized – so much so that Russia has just announced the creation of their first paperless aircraft.

The Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company’s Superjet 100 (SSJ100) was the country’s first aircraft to not only be internationally designed and manufactured but is also the first Russian aircraft to be designed without the use of any paper whatsoever. The team of international partners made use of the latest design and manufacturing technology to create the somewhat more ecologically-friendly masterpiece. The aircraft is ‘green’ in other ways too – like the fact that it consumes 10% less fuel that it’s nearest competitor. The reduction in overall costs also means it can have the lowest price in its class. But all these savings don’t make the aircraft low on creature comforts. The SSJ100 has wider seats, larger storage bins and wider aisles, giving it unprecedented passenger comfort when compared to other regional jets. The aircraft made its maiden flight on May 19, 2008, and has since proved to be an incredibly well-designed and put together jet.

The overall goal of the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company was to create a virtual enterprise of system suppliers on a global platform – one which enabled them to combine the latest design and manufacturing technology in the easiest and most efficient way possible. The input of the various teams from around the world was clearly beneficial and the resulting SSJ100 is now an industry-leading aircraft. But how did they do it? By using Siemens PLM Software’s Teamcenter Collaboration Solution, the teams from around the world were able to construct and design their aircraft digitally. The software enabled them to created 3D models as well as easily compute related data. It also made it possible for design teams to digitally mock-up any particular aspect of the SSJ100 that needed more work so that they could refine the aircraft to the greatest degree possible with the smallest amount of effort. In this way, Teamcenter was able to help coordinate the efforts of roughly 1700 different engineers and manufacturing specialists. These various people were located in more than eight different places around the world, making the stunning final result even more remarkable. Clearly Sukhoi has set the standard for aircraft manufacturing in the near future.