Four more join group to receive state funding for BSMS short- to medium-haul airliner

Four more Russian organisations have joined the Yakovlev, Ilyushin and NPK Irkut team selected to receive state funding to develop the MS-21 family of 130- to 170-seat airliners. The MS-21 - an improved Yakovlev Yak-242 - was the winner of Russia's BSMS short- to medium-haul airliner competition in August.

Aviastar-SP, Ilyushin-Finance, the National Reserve Bank (NRB), the Smolensk aircraft factory and VASO have joined the MS-21 - or medium aircraft of the 21st century - team.

The original three companies have been in talks with Russian airlines in a bid to form a customer base to launch the MS-21 into full-scale development next year.

If the programme is launched, prototypes would be built in 2005-7 with certification due in 2008. Deliveries would start in 2009.

Contenders in the BSMS competition included a derivative of the Ilyushin/NPK Irkut/Hindustan Aeronautics Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) and a Tupolev proposal.

As it became clear that the Yakovlev proposal was the favoured solution, Ilyushin and NPK Irkut made a "last-minute" withdrawal to make a joint bid with Yakovlev.

The cost of MS-21 research and development is put at $460 million, of which the state would provide $210 million. Ilyushin and Yakovlev will invest $30 million, NRB will provide $20 million and arrange a credit line, while $100 million will be raised on capital markets. NPK Irkut will contribute systems and powerplant work funded as part of the MTA programme.

Market potential is estimated at 415 aircraft in Russia and 228 exports in 2009-28. The family would comprise three models: the MS-21-100, with 132 seats, a 4,700km (2,540nm) range and maximum take-off weight of 65,800kg (144,930lb); the -200, with a 5,500km range, 71,100kg MTOW, and 156 seats; and the -300 with 174 seats, 4,500km range and 72,000kg MTOW. The -200 will be 38m (125ft) long and produced first.

The 35.3m-span wing, developed by the TsAGI aerodynamics institute, will be swept 25¡ and will use the supercritical aerofoil developed for the now defunct Yak-242.

The 24,200-26,400lb-thrust-class (107-117kN) engine will be selected from the Aviadvigatel PS-12 and Kuznetsov TRDD-2005, but the CFM International CFM56 or International Aero Engines V2500 could be used.

Source: Flight International