Mass production of PD-14 engines for the MC-21 aircraft has begun signaling a major acceleration of the Russian project to product a medium-haul airliner to compete with the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
“In January 2020, the first engine products for installation on the latest Russian aircraft MS-21 were already delivered to the Irkutsk aircraft plant,” Oleg Yevtushenko, executive director of Rostec, the parent company of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) told RIA Novosti Monday.
The PD-14 is the first fully Russian-made turbofan engine since the 1980s. It is intended for civil aviation and has been developed taking into account international standards and requirements.
The MC-21 offers a choice between an engine made by US firm, Honeywell and the PD-14. However, US sanctions against Russian defence and aerospace entities has made it extremely difficult to source the US-made engine.
Meanwhile, the fourth MC-21-300 flight-test aircraft made a non-stop flight from Irkutsk to the Ramenskoye airfield (Zhukovsky, Moscow region) to continue flight tests last week. The aircraft was installed with a passenger cabin in a high-density configuration comprising a single-class layout of 211 seats, a UAC release said.
This is the densest version of the layout of MC-21-300 aircraft. Airliners with such a cabin are designed primarily for low-cost airlines. Other test aircraft are equipped with 172 passenger seats, and control and measuring equipment and workplaces of test-engineers are located in the rear of the liner.
Before carrying out certification tests of the passenger cabin, another 39 passenger seats will be mounted instead of the test equipment. In the complete set of the cabin, in particular, tests for emergency exit from the aircraft will be carried out.
In accordance with regulatory requirements, such tests are carried out with the minimum permissible passage width in the cabin.