Windtunnel tests on scale models of the final Sukhoi/Boeing Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) configuration have started at two sites: TsAGI, the Central Aerohydrodynamics Institute, in Zhukovsky near Moscow, and SibNIA, the Siberian Scientific Research Academy, in Novosibirsk.
Since August last year TsAGI has performed three series of wing tests on several scale models. A total of 16 configurations were tested before selection of a final "cruise flight" design earlier this year. The tests involved all three family members: the RRJ-60, RRJ-75 and RRJ-95, seating 60, 75 and 95 passengers respectively. In April TsAGI launched tests on a new 14.5% model in two wind-tunnels. "The Revision 5 wing represents the final-configuration RRJ wing fully meeting design targets of the aerodynamics and the manufacture," says Victor Soubbotin, RRJ programme director.
SibNIA windtunnel tests focus on RRJ takeoff and landing configurations. In April SibNIA started testing an 11% model with the "Revision 5" wing.
First flight of the RRJis scheduled in 2006 and first delivery in late-2007.
Reports that Sibir has signed a letter of intent (LoI) for 50 RRJs are being described by both sides as "premature", although Sukhoi Civil Aircraft confirms that Sibir is one of the airlines on the two advisory boards that work with the company in fine-tuning the design.
VLADIMIR KARNOZOV / MOSCOW
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY PAUL DUFFY
Source: Flight International