Short take-off freighter concept undergoes windtunnel test

Russian researchers are conducting windtunnel tests on a new conceptual freighter designed to operate from short unpaved fields.

The medium-sized transport, with a cargo capacity of 20t, features a high wing and two turbofan engines.

It will operate over a range of some 1,620nm (3,000km) with speeds of 400-430kt, says the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute.

The Moscow-based institute states that low-speed windtunnel testing, including ground-effect simulation, was carried out in October under a Russian ministry of industry contract.

It says the analysis centres on technology which would allow the aircraft to operate from unpaved runways of 800-900m – half the length typically required by airframes in the same category.

The institute says such an aircraft would require a high-lift configuration which retains efficient aerodynamic properties, and be capable of coping with the loss of stability arising from failure of one engine.

Analysis of the short take-off transport aircraft concept is part of a development effort aimed at creating new civil regional aircraft with advanced capabilities for the 2025-30 timeframe.

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