Russia’s Central Institute of Aerodynamics is continuing to pursue its target of building a new turbofan engine for Russian aircraft.  

On March 21, 2022, TsAGI announced that it had tested an engine nacelle for the domestically built Aviadvigtel PD-8 engine, which is expected to power the SSJ-NEW passenger aircraft, the latest version of the short-haul, narrowbody Sukhoi Superjet 100.  

According to a statement published by the institute, the nacelle was tested in a wind tunnel at speeds of M0.7-0.82 and angles of attack from 3.4 to 4.9k to evaluate its aerodynamic characteristics and performance during the cruise stage.  

The results of the recent testing will be used to certify the PD-8 engine as well as to “optimize the propulsion for the SSJ 100 New aircraft,” the statement continues. 

“We are carrying out a whole range of tasks to create the domestic PD-8 engine,” said Vladimir Akinfiev, head of powerplant aerodynamic research at TsAGI. 

Having already studied the aerodynamic characteristics of the air intake of the PD-8 engine, TsAGI is currently focused on further testing the nacelle with a simulated thrust-reverser.  

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“This is a strategically important task, thanks to which the manufacturing of domestic aircraft engine will gain independence from foreign companies,” Akinfiev added. 

The PD-8 engine will power the newest version of the regional Sukhoi Superjet made by Russian aircraft manufacturer Irkut Corporation. During manufacturing, the company expects to replace around 97% of components imported into Russia with domestically sourced parts, including avionics and engine.  

The PD-engine powered SSJ-NEW aircraft should receive its type certification in 2023, with the first deliveries expected in 2024. 

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In 2016, Sukhoi SuperJet 100 (SSJ100) aircraft operated in Russia were flying for approximately 3-3.7 hours a day, according to Russian news portal Vedomosti. Across the Atlantic, Mexican Interjet – the largest foreign operator of the model with 22 SSJ100s in its fleet – had more efficient operations, with the average being around 5-7 hours a day. Worldwide, the average time spent in air by SSJ100 aircraft (totaling at 73 units) was four hours.