PowerJet, the joint venture formed by Russia’s NPO Saturn and France’s Snecma to build the SaM146 turbofan for the Russian Regional Jet (RRJ), will run the first engine to test (FETT) in April this year and gain certification for the new powerplant in March 2008. PowerJet chairman and CEO Michel Dechelotte joined Sukhoi officials during an opening day press briefing, exactly a month after he and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft CEO Viktor Soubbotin signed a definitive agreement for the supply of the SaM146 turbofan for the new pair of regional jets known as the RRJ75 and RRJ95. The contract covers the details of the development and production of the engine and commercial matters associated with the partnership between Sukhoi and PowerJet.
Producing between 14,000 to 17,500 pounds of thrust, the SaM146 cover thrust requirements for aircraft that seat from 60 to 100 passengers. PowerJet’s contribution to the RRJ also includes the nacelles and associated engine equipment.
Under the terms of the partnership, Snecma will build the core engine, control system, accessory drive (accessory gearbox, transfer gearbox), overall engine integration and flight testing.
NPO Saturn has taken responsibility for the components of the low pressure section, engine assembly for the RRJ application and ground testing.
Designed for maximum commonality, the SaM146 design allows operators to adjust the engine’s thrust level by simply changing a plug in the Fadec control system. Such commonality means savings in terms of spare parts, tools, mechanic and pilot training and spare engine inventories.
The SaM146’s design draws on features of Snecma’s CFM56 and incorporates advances from the TECH56 R&D program, as well as a single-stage high-pressure turbine derived from Snecma’s advanced military hot section technology. The SaM146 core features technologies validated by Snecma on the DEM21 demonstrator. It uses fewer compressor stages and parts than competing engines, which means lower maintenance cost and weight, plus a substantial decrease in specific fuel consumption–all contributing to significant reduction in total cost of ownership.