SARATOVSKY AVIATSIONNY ZAVOD ZAO (Saratov Aviation Plant JSC)
Founded in 1929 as agricultural machinery manufacturer. First aircraft built at Saratov flew on 28 October 1938. During the Second World War, the Saratov plant (GAZ-292) manufactured Yakovlev Yak-1 and Yak-3 piston-engined fighters, continuing post-war with Yak-11, La-15, Yak-23, Yak-25 and Yak-27 military jet aircraft and, from May 1952, Mi-2 helicopter. In the 1960s and 1970s, production centred on the Yak-40 three-turbofan transport, with Yak-36 and Yak-141 V/STOL prototypes and Yak-38 V/STOL fighters also manufactured in the 1970s and 1980s. Yak-42 entered series production in 1982, although there have been no recent completions. Yak-54 trainer/sporting aircraft production began in 1994, but in early 2001, SAZ was unsuccessfully, as it transpired, attempting to resuscitate an American order for 48 which had previously been terminated after only six deliveries. Of five Yak-54s to have been built in 2001, only one completed before venture was abandoned for lack of funds. Yak-56 primary trainer is also earmarked for production at SAZ, as are Yak-142, Yak-242 and Moukamedov A-209M turboprop twin.
Meanwhile, manufacturing is turning increasingly to agricultural tractors and road sweepers. SAZ is earmarked for amalgamation within Sukhoi holding group under 2001 plans for Russian aerospace industry rationalisation. Personnel in 2003 totalled over 8,000, of whom 2,800 were engineers.
SAZ also worked on a completely new type of lifting-body jet aircraft known as the EKIP project. It was the first company in the Russian Federation and Associated States (CIS) to receive a production certificate for commercial aircraft in compliance with international standards.