Russian researchers are analysing different concepts for a potential 220- to 250-seat long-haul aircraft which could feature an oval fuselage and a blended wing interface.

The examination is part of an initiative, Integral-MS, which is looking into design configurations for a future mainline aircraft that would increase cabin space and reduce fuel-burn.

Moscow’s Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute says the aircraft would need a range of 4,300-4,900nm (8,000-9,000km).

It is studying three potential options. The first, identified as MS-1, is a conventional configuration with a circular fuselage cross-section.

MS-2 and MS-3-c-Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute

Source: Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute

Configurations designated MS-2 (upper) and MS-3 (lower) underwent windtunnel tests

But the others, MS-2 and MS-3, would have an oval fuselage, while MS-3 would have a more integrated interface between the wing and fuselage structures.

“This [MS-3] solution will increase aerodynamic quality and load-bearing properties at low speeds, which will make it possible to reduce the required length of runway,” says the institute.

“Use of an oval fuselage will reduce fuel consumption and increase space for passengers, thereby increasing the comfort of the flight.”

It adds that the design would offer greater cargo capacity on its lower deck.

The institute argues that such alternative configurations have “not been sufficiently studied” and need detailed analysis.

It has been examining the three different designs using a combined model, in a low-speed windtunnel, looking at angle-of-attack and slip behaviour at around 100kt.

“As a result of the experiments, the aerodynamic characteristics of all three configurations were obtained,” says the institute.

“This includes determining the effectiveness of the elevators and rudder, as well as the influence of…the tail and engine nacelles.”

Its work demonstrated the MS-3 configuration shows “no fundamental differences in aerodynamics” from the conventional design at low speed, but has “more favourable” load-bearing properties. The institute is to move to testing the performance in cruise flight, using a transonic windtunnel.