GENERAL ELECTRIC has agreed a deal to put its CT7 turboprop on the Sukhoi S-80 utility aircraft. A repair, overhaul and support deal for the engine has been put in place with Rybinsk Motors.

Under the contract with Sukhoi, two CT7-9B turboprops will be delivered for flight testing in Russia early in 1996. Production of the GE-powered twin-boom utility is expected to begin at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur factory in Eastern Siberia in 1997.

The two flat-rated 1,395kW (1,870shp) engines will enable the short take-off and landing S-80 to carry payloads of almost 3,100kg, or 26 passengers, from unprepared strips.

The programme is in parallel with the 26-passenger Antonov An-38 utility, which is also in development. The slightly smaller An-38 is powered by 1,100kW AlliedSignal TPE331-14 turboprops and the aircraft is scheduled to receive Russian certification late this year, with US certification planned for 1996.

The Russian engine for the An-38 and the S-80 is the TVD-1500 turboprop made by Rybinsk Motors, with which GE has signed a memorandum of agreement covering support of the CT7.

The agreement also calls for "...development of a plan for Rybinsk to assemble, inspect and test CT7 engines and modules when production levels in Russia of CT7-powered aircraft reach specified levels", says GE.

Apart from turboprops, Rybinsk engines have included the RD-38 powerplant for the Yakovlev Yak-38 and the VD-7 for the Tupolev Tu-22 Blinder.

GE and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries are believed to be forming a joint venture for production of the CF34-8C turbofan for the yet-to-be-launched Canadair CRJ-X 70-76 stretched regional jet.

The two are linked on the GE90 turbofan, which powers the Boeing 777.

Source: Flight International