Russian researchers study elliptical-fuselage 'EkoJet' concept

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Russian researchers have released details of a proposed medium-haul widebody aircraft design which has been undergoing structural studies at the Central Aerohydrodynamics Institute.

The main characteristic of the twin-engined aircraft, designated the 'Frigate EkoJet', is an elliptical fuselage which would accommodate 300-350 passengers in a three-class, triple-aisle configuration.

While the proposed design would fit the niche occupied by the high-capacity Ilyushin Il-86, the organisation behind it, Rosaviakonsortsium, says the EkoJet's take-off weight would be some 80t lighter.

"Results show that the structural strength can be achieved within the prescribed weight limits of the aircraft," it states, adding that the fuselage design and the triple-aisle layout would "provide a high level of comfort for passengers".

 frigate ekojet
 Source: Rosaviakonsortsium

The seat pitch would be at least 81cm (32in) while the aisles would be 50cm wide; in an all-economy layout the aircraft could seat 400 passengers.

On the freight deck the EkoJet would be able to hold up to 20 standard LD3 freight containers.

Rosaviakonsortsium, which specialises in promoting Russia's domestic aircraft industry, says the airframe analysis marks the second study phase after an initial technical assessment towards the end of last year, and further studies are planned.