Russia's United Aircraft (OAK) has unveiled the technical specifications for the Tupolev Tu-204SM, the variant designed to succeed the current models from 2011 until production ends in 2016.
The twinjet has been under development since 2006 and represents a thorough modernisation of the baseline Tu-204-100 as well as the Kazan-built Tu-214 and Tu-204-300 "shrink" derivatives.
OAK civil division deputy director Sergei Galperin highlights several technology improvements for the new variant:
As a result of these and other changes, the operating empty weight will be reduced by up to 2t. "This should translate into increased commercial payload and lower operating and maintenance costs for customers," says Galperin, adding that consolidation of technological specifications will also cut production costs.
While fulfilling remaining orders for Tu-204s and Tu-204-300s, manufacturer Aviastar will gradually switch to producing Tu-204SMs. Kazan-based KAPO, which now assembles Tu-214s, will then begin supplying wings for the entire SM series.
The government has allocated Rb3.6 billion ($100 million) to complete design work on the Tu-204SM by 2010, and Rb1 billion is being set aside for development of the PS-90A2 powerplant.
The first prototype should be rolled out in 2010. Trial flights will involve two or three aircraft, with type certification due for completion by 2011. Work is under way to develop a flight simulator.
Galperin says OAK's original plan was to construct around 150 Tu-204SMs over the five-year period, but adds: "Following the current crisis, we've downsized projection to 100 aircraft."
OAK president Alexei Fyodorov has identified engine manufacturers invited to offer powerplants for the Tu-204's next-generation successor, the MS-21. Western recipients of the request for proposals include CFM International, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce. Newly established Russian holding company, United Engine, which comprises Aviadvigatel and Perm Motors, is one of two local suppliers invited. The other is an alliance formed by Ukraine's ZMKB Ivchenko-Progress and Motor Sich with Moscow-based MMPP Salyut. The aim is to make selections by year-end.