Russian institute working on high-speed regional turborop design

The institute might eventually develop more spacious airliners The new airliner will seat up to 19 passengers (SibNIA)

Siberian Aeronautical Research Institute (SibNIA, part of the Zhukovsky flight research center under the Ministry of Industry and Trade) has commenced R&D work on a high-speed regional turboprop with a seating capacity of up to 19 passengers. Such aircraft appear to be in high demand for local operations within Russian regions.

Dmitry Smirnov, who heads SibNIA’s advanced airspace research department, presented the program’s performance targets at a recent conference devoted to powerplants for regional aviation. The 15,500 kg MTOW aircraft should cruise at 700 km/h at 7,000 m, and should have a range of at least 3,000 km. The airliner is intended to operate off runways measuring 1,300 by 35 meters in between –60 and+50°С OAT.

Along with the development of the new-generation turboprop for high-speed local transportation, the Institute is working on complete a re-engined upgrade of Soviet-designed Yak-40 regional jet. One of the steps in the Yak-40 modernization program was to convert a production airliner (s.n. 40-04, tail number 87216).

“We are currently working on the concept [of the future turboprop], calculating the aerodynamics and [airframe] strength characteristics,” Smirnov says. “Once this stage is completed, we will start working on the structural design. We are currently working to design some individual parts. We are only talking a flying technology demonstrator at the moment, which will demonstrate certain structural solutions.”

One of the parts mentioned by Smirnov is the wing torsion box, which will be completed this year. The primary structural components, including the fuselage and the empennage, are to be elaborated in the next few years.

Although the aircraft is currently expected to seat 19 passengers, the technological and scientific solutions involved in its creation are expected to pave way to larger models with up to 30 to 40 passenger seats.

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