Voronezh Aircraft JSC Voronezh Shareholder Aircraft-Building Society Voronezhskoye aviatsionnoye PO Voronezh Aircraft Amalgamation VASO (Voronezh aircraft factory) Tsiolkovskogo street, 27 394029 Voronezh, Russia Tel: (0732) 49-90-17 Fax: (0732) 44-86-66Founded in 1932, "Voronezh Shareholder Aircraft-Building Society" or "Voronezh Aircraft JSC" is one of the biggest factories of Russia in producing passenger and cargo aircraft. Since the late 1950s, Voronezh has specialized in the production of transport aircraft, including the Tu-144 supersonic airliner. It currently produces the widebody Il-86 and has begun series production of the Il-96-300. The enterprise had a total staff of about 20,000 as of 1992. In 1993, the plant's state order accounted for 33 per cent of the total amount of work, and in 1994 for 62 per cent. Voronezh aircraft factory is the biggest factory in Europe whose main Field of activity during the whole period of its history has been a manufacture of heavy and long-range bombers. The history of creation and production of airplanes released from this factory includes the Antonov An-10, Antonov An-12, Kalinin K-7, Kalinin K-12, Ilyushin Il-2, Ilyushin Il-10, Ilyushin Il-12, Ilyushin Il-28, Ilyushin Il-76, Ilyushin Il-86, Ilyushin Il-96-300, Ilyushin Il-96M, Tupolev TB-3, Tupolev ANT-25, Tupolev Tu-16, Tupolev Tu-28/Tu-128, Tupolev Tu-144, Analog-144, and many other planes. The plant and the Ilyushin Design Bureau have formed the Ilyushin Association. The Ilyushin interstate aviation company is planned to comprise the aircraft developers - the Ilyushin Aviation Complex, and two series-production plants: the Voronezh Aircraft-Building Joint-Stock Company (VASO) and the Tashkent Aviation Industrial Association named after Chkalov (TAPOiCH). The company is aimed mainly at the development and production of new aviation hardware Presently, "VASO" (the abbreviated name of the factory) is providing, competitive on the world market, the new generation long-range wide-body IL-96-300 aircraft, the cargo aircraft IL-96T. The production of the IL-96M aircraft is on schedule. The IL-96-300 is designed to carry passengers, baggage, mail and cargo on long-range trunk lines up to 11000 km. In 1998 VASO started the production of aviation equipment test samples for the TU-54 aircraft. In April 1996 Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin unveiled the Ilyushin-96T, a cargo jet powered by Pratt & Whitney engines. The IL-96T is a transport aircraft, a modified version of the IL-96-300. The jetliner is designed to compete with U.S.-built Boeing aircraft. The Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission engineered the $1.5 billion deal, which is subsidized by the United States Export-Import Bank. As of late 1999 a number of almost completed airframes had stood unsold at the manufacturing plants for some time. Reportedly, the VASO factory in Voronezh has several Il-96s in a high degree of completion, needing a relatively moderate investment to buy engines, avionics and other components from subcontractors. Aeroflot already has a fleet of six Il-96-300s whose deliveries began in 1992. The operator tried to persuade Ilyushin and VASO to embark on a major interior and avionics improvement program for the type. Despite the high flight performance of the plane, Aeroflot found the Il-96-300 as lagging behind the A310s and 767s in passenger comfort. Ilyushin and VASO understood the necessity to modify the airplane, but lacked the financial resources to do the job. In a deal announced in December 1999, the first modified Il-96-300 will re-enter service with Aeroflot in 2001, and by 2003 the airline will operate a fleet of 12 such aircraft. VASO manufactures agricultural machines, cabin and motor boats, washing machines, vibration pumps, metal thermo bottles, silencers for cars, crane scales, etc. it also produces agricultural equipment, washing machines, automotive spare parts, children's toys, baby carriages, and home gardening pumps. A new electroplating shop has been built for treatment of wing panels up to 25 meters long for the Il-96-300. The plant has developed dozens of new manufacturing processes for the Il-86 and Il-96, notably materials hardening techniques. It has advanced equipment for inspections and quality control, including non-destructive testing equipment, electron beam welding machines, ultrasonic flaw detectors, automatic X-ray machines, chromatographs and coulometric hydrometers. Over 850 industrial enterprises in Voronezh Oblast employ 23% of the regional workforce. Voronezh enterprises produce airplanes IL-86 and IL-96, rocket engines for spacecrafts, equipment for oil and gas industry, excavators, rubber and automobile tires, fertilizers, chemicals, metal-cutting equipment, and mechanical presses. Industrial enterprises encounter similar challenges as do their agribusiness counterparts. Obsolete equipment hinders the production and prevents project development. Thus, while developing an investment project, a company has to begin with overhauling of the production facilities. Voronezh is the leading scientific center of the Black Earth Region. There are 15 institutes, universities, and academies. Over 60 research institutes and design bureaus create powerful scientific potential of the oblast. Both the climate and well-educated work force impact the development of certain industries in the region: agriculture and food processing and technologically advances industries such as aerospace, radio electronics, machine building, chemical industry, pharmaceutical, synthetic rubber industry, and mechanical engineering. Energy is supplied by the Novovoronezhskaya Atomic Electricity station and the near-by fuel mains. Voronezh Oblast is located 600 km south of Moscow in the Central Black Earth Region of Russia. The climate is moderately continental. The Oblast covers 52,400 square kilometers of land. Two-thirds of its land is the richest soil in Europe. Voronezh Oblast is surrounded by four other Central Black Earth Regions of Russia: Belgorod, Kursk, Lipetsk, and Tambov, and neighbors with North Caucases and Povolzh'e also known for their fertile lands. Voronezh Oblast is perforated with three important automobile highways: Moscow-Rostov, Moscow-Astrakhan, Kursk-Saratov, - as well as railroads, and river ways. Volga-Don company operates it the region allowing most of the inter-oblast cargo be transported via rivers Voronezh, Don, and Volga. The cargo is also shipped to the regions located on Azov and Caspian seas. The population of the Voronezh Oblast is 2.5 million people of which 1 million live in the city of Voronezh. 17% of the population is involved in the agribusiness sector. Retirees compile a high percentage of the total population (60%). Voronezh is a major industrial center of the Central Black Earth Region. There are 1380 enterprises in Voronezh distributed over 16 industrial branches. Its employees constitute 40% of the total labor force. The leading branches are: radioelectronics, machine-tool industry, mechanical engineering, aircraft industry, chemical, food, and light industries, and production of building materials. Despite the crisis in the economy in the 1990s, city enterprises have succeeded in a preserving highly-qualified engineering based work force which is capable of quick adoption of advanced technologies.