Engine venture PowerJet's SaM146 has passed the critical blade-off certification test at the open-air test facility near Rybinsk in Russia.

The SaM146 - which will power the Sukhoi Superjet 100 - underwent the test on 6 May, in the presence of European Aviation Safety Agency personnel.

PowerJet partner NPO Saturn says the engine fan was spun to around 6,800rpm before one of the 2.2kg titanium blades was deliberately separated to check the integrity of the engine and its casing.

The test demonstrated that only one of the blades broke, that the reinforced engine structure contained the damage and that the pylon support remained intact.

There was no fire, adds NPO Saturn, and the fuel shut-off was achieved within 15s.

NPO Saturn's chief designer for the SaM146 project, Georgi Konyukhov, says the tests "confirmed the mechanical capability of the engine at these huge dynamic loads".

There are 22 full-scale engine trials in the certification regime and Konyukhov says that the blade-off process is "undoubtedly the most important" of the four main tests - which also include bird ingestion, hail ingestion and prolonged cycle runs.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news