The specialists of the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky (TsAGI) have developed a technology platform (a number of interconnected technologies) intended for development of an affordable light multi-role aircraft (LMA) with extended deployment capabilities, TsAGI’s press-service reports.
“This platform can be used in the network of development of the advanced aircraft seating 9, 13 or 19 passengers, which must meet the requirements of the Russian small aircraft market and be competitive at the global market. The work was started in 2011 in accordance with a contract signed by TsAGI and Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia”, - said in the press-service’s statement.
TsAGI proposed a number of technical solutions in the area of aerodynamics, materials, control system, providing significant improvement of the aircraft’s technical level and consumer appeal. The scientists are developing the airframe made of polymer composite materials, automatic control system for LMA and the wheeled landing gear (base version), as well as stand-alone air cushion landing system. They intend to equip the aircraft with pressurized cabin, two turboprop helicopter engines connected with cross-shaft, etc. Special attention is paid to the operation of LMA without any airfield, which is essential for such regions as Siberia and Thule.
The aerodynamic configuration providing high aerodynamic efficiency at cruise mode and high lift performance at takeoff and landing modes has been developed. The calculated aerodynamic performance has been confirmed during model experiments carried out in T-102 wind tunnel. The testing of air cushion landing gear in the TsAGI’s wind tunnel and towing basin was successful.
“According to GosNII GA, the new light aircraft equipped with wheeled landing gear will provide reduction of carrier cost by 18-45% as compared to An-2, L-410UVP-E and other foreign analogues. This fact affords ground for considering the LMA Family as the next-generation aircraft. The economic efficiency of the LMA equipped with air cushion landing gear will be positive as well. According to the specialists of Aviaprom, the manufacturer may secure orders for 1770 LMAs in all three versions during a period from 2016 to 2030 (the total value of these aircraft will be around $4.5 billion). At that, 19-seat version will account for 62% of the total output, 13-seat version will account for 25%, and 9-seat version — for 13%”, - TsAGI noted.
The new Russian aircraft will be competitive at the domestic and global markets provided that the technical solutions and technologies developed by TsAGI will be implemented. These turboprops will ensure affordability and safety of the local air transportation and aerial works. “TsAGI thinks it expedient to develop an LMA aircraft technology demonstrator suitable for development and verification of claimed innovative technical solutions. Our specialists have already completed the project definition study for the demonstrator in 2012 in accordance with the contract signed by TsAGI and the Ministry of Industry and Trade”, - scientific supervisor of this project, Andrey Dunaevsky, noted.