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P&W and Russia jointly fund PS-90 engine modernisation programme


Design bureau Aviadvigatel and manufacturer PMZ (Perm Motor Plant) have launched a major upgrade of their PS-90 turbofan after securing funding from Russian state aerospace agency Rosaviacosmos and Pratt & Whitney.

In its original PS-90A form, the 35,000lb-thrust (156kN) engine, which has seen 10 years service, powers the four-engined Ilyushin Il-76MF/TF freighter, the Il-96-300/ 400 quad and the Tupolev Tu-204-100/214 twinjet passenger aircraft.

Rosaviacosmos will provide 520 million roubles ($16.8 million) funding up to 2004, as part of Russia's 2001-15 civil aviation development programme. P&W, whose parent United Technologies holds a 25% stake in PMZ, will provide 450 million roubles for the programme. "We made a long-term pledge in the early 1990s to participate in the Russian engine market," says P&W. "We were committed to the Perm complex, which included a long-term goal of a PS-90 upgrade."

The enhanced engine, designated the PS-90A2, was part of the Civil Aviation Development programme provided commercial funding could be found, and the engine is certificated by 2005. "The engine has no future without the A2," says Aviadvigatel general director and general designer Aleksandr Inozemtsev.

The A2 will cost 20% more than the earlier engine, but the design bureau predicts a 40% reduction in life-cycle costs via the introduction of improved components, including some non-Russian items, which will extend the time between overhaul.

Airline demand for the new engine is put at over 300 units, of which half will be upgrades from the earlier model. Inozemtsev says, of the 200 PS-90As produced up to 1997, 160 remain "available to commercial operators, with only 60 installed on airworthy aircraft".

PMZ raised output by 30-40% last year, and is planning a 100% rise this year. Deputy general director Mikhail Dicheskul says the manufacturer intends to build 10-17 PS-90s in 2002 for the aerospace market, and 50-60 electrical generation turbines based on the same core. Around five A2s will be assembled for ground- and flight-tests.

New engines are on order for Atlant-Soyuz and Volga-Dnepr Ilyushin Il-76TD retrofits and a presidential Il-96-300. New Il-96-400s and Tu-214s on order for lessors FLC and Ilyushin Finance will mainly have overhauled A-model engines.

Although there are 100-250 Il-76s suitable for the PS-90 retrofit programme, few orders have been placed. Dicheskul is hopeful new engines will be ordered for threeIl-76MFs for the Russian air force and three Beriev A-50 airborne early warning platforms (based on the Il-76) for the Indian air force.

Ukraine's Antonov has agreed with the ZMKB Progress design bureau and Motor-Sich plant to make the An-124-100 Ruslan and An-225 Mryia compliant with International Civil Aviation Organisation Chapter 4 requirements. A study has revealed the fan of the giant freighters' D-18T engine will need to be redesigned, as well as upgrades to the nacelle with installation of additional noise-attenuation material.