Motor Sich engines to power An-70 freighter version

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Motor Sich is to produce a new derivative of its D-27 engine, the D-727, to power the freighter variant of the Antonov An-70 transport.

The Ukrainian engine maker's president Vyacheslav Boguslayev revealed the plan during a briefing in Zaporozhye.

Powered by four wing-mounted Ivchenko-Progress D-17 propfan engines, the An-70 was developed as replacement for the An-12 airlifter. Russia intends to acquire several dozen of the aircraft as part of its long-term national rearmament programme.

Last year, the Ukrainian and Russian governments tentatively assessed the KAPO plant in Kazan for An-70 assembly.

But Boguslayev says the process of carrying out this project has slowed down: "One of the ways to spur it on is to work out a commercial application for the An-70. To this end, we'll produce D-727 engines fitted with fan cowlings."

Antonov chief designer Dmitry Kiva says modification work on the An-70 will take less than a year. He and Boguslayev believe that, given the type's technical characteristics, its freighter variant might be attractive for the long-haul, high-capacity cargo market.