In The Works: Sukhoi SSBJ

 - May 6, 2008, 4:56 AM

At the end of June, Sukhoi announced the creation of the “new” Sukhoi Aviation Corporation, with the consolidation of a number of design and manufacturing companies, including Moscow-based OKB Sukhogo (the Sukhoi design bureau) and the Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Komsomolsk-na-Amure and Taganrog aircraft plants. Part of this restructured organization is the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co., which is dedicated to the design, production, sales, modernization and after-sale support of Sukhoi civil aircraft, according to Aleksey Poveshchenko of Sukhoi. The supersonic business jet (SSBJ) project, now in the development stage, falls under the domain of this company. Without the participation of other companies, however, the project is not possible and Sukhoi is therefore in the process of preparing memorandums with possible joint partners.

Indicative of the complexity of the project as well as the slow pace of work accomplished to date is the latest projected first flight date, now 2010, a big jump from the 2002 estimate announced at the 1999 Paris Air Show. Entry into service is anticipated in 2012. Present proposed specifications include: subsonic cruise speed, Mach 0.95; supersonic cruise speed, Mach 1.8; range (subsonic or supersonic), 5,000 nm; mtow, 124,000 lb; runway length for takeoff, 6,500 ft; number of passengers, 6 to 10. Previously proposed to be powered by three Soyuz VK21 turbofans, the SSBJ is currently planned to carry two Rolls-Royce engines producing a total thrust to 62,000 lb.