Flight tests of upgraded engines for An-124s slated for 2017

Certification tests of a twin-spool core of D-18Т engine, of 3М series, were started already in 2014 Certification tests of a twin-spool core of D-18Т engine, of 3М series, were started already in 2014 (Photo by Antonov State Company)

Flight tests of upgraded engines for the Antonov An-124-100 Ruslan, one of the world’s heaviest airlifters, will begin in 2017. The relevant protocol has already been signed by three Ukrainian companies involved in the project, reports the Antonov State Company’s representative.

The An-124 airframer Antonov, engine-maker Ivchenko-Progress and another Ukrainian engine specialist, Motor Sich, are viewing upgrades for  D-18Т (series 3) engines installed on the An-124s operated by Antonov Airlines, the OEM’s transport division. The retrofitted 3М series will feature lower noise levels and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The modification will also enable the airline to operate the engines on the so called ‘condition-monitored basis’ (which means the engine or its part is operated as long as it is serviceable, regardles of its life limits) within the assigned service life of 12,000 to 14,000 flight hours. Currently, the new series powerplant is being bench-tested.

Certification tests of a twin-spool core of the D-18Т engine of 3М series began in 2014. It was initially planned that the new engine modification would be used for retrofitting both Antonov An-124 Ruslan and its greatly enlarged six-engine version, the An-225 Mriya, of which there is just one left in service. It was also reported that, thanks to the powerplant’s enhanced reliability, it would be possible to increase its assigned life limit up to 50,000 flight hours, which corresponds to the An-124’s basic airframe life.

The takeoff thrust of the existing D-18Т engines exceeds 23.4 tons.

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