Due for certification in March ahead of the aircraft in October next year, the all-new PowerJet SaM146 turbofan is reaching an important landmark, with the first three soon to enter flight testing.

One is already on the way to the Gromov Flight Research Institute, which this month is due to mount the engine on an Ilyushin Il-76 testbed aircraft for flight trials.

NPO Saturn's SaM146 programme director Igor Yudin says the engine underwent performance calibration, fan stress and instrument verification checks at a specially built open-air facility near the company's Rybinsk plant.

On-wing tests, scheduled to run from September to March first in Russia and then in France, will study the engine's performance in operational conditions, including in-flight restarting, and adjust the settings for the Superjet 100 certification programme.    

Two other two SaM146s have completed ground testing totalling more than 400h and 200 starts."The engine exceeds its design thrust rating of 14,000-17,500lb [62-78kN] by 900lb," he says. "There­fore, it could well power a proposed stretched 110-seat version of the Superjet and there's no need to right-size it."         

NPO Saturn will soon deliver a pair of SaM146s to Sukhoi's assembly plant KnAAPO to equip the first SSJ. The Superjet test plan envisages the supply of 10 engines and completion of certification by November next year.  

As Sukhoi expects the SSJ global sales to reach 1,000 aircraft over the next 20 years, Snecma and NPO Saturn have set an output target for the SaM146 of 2,000 units. Snecma programme director Jean-Pierre Ager says the partners plan to supply 18 production engines next year and ramp up to around 70 in 2009, reaching an annual output of 140 engines in 2010. 

Source: Flight International