Superjet’s 130NG Stretch To Feature Composite Wing

 - February 10, 2012, 10:00 PM
Aeroflot now operates five Superjet SSJ100-95s. A stretched version of the airplane would seat 130 passengers.

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) plans to develop a stretched version of the recently certified Superjet 100 designed to seat 130 passengers. The airplane is dubbed the Superjet 130NG, and Sukhoi estimates its development costs will total $1 billion. The company plans to launch the program by year-end and execute a new joint venture between Russian and Italian firms to develop the airplane.

Russia’s ministry for industry and trade has published its views on further development of advanced commercial aviation programs in its MPT Report 2011, in which the SSJ130NG gets its first mention by a government entity. The ministry says it is ready to provide non-refundable investments from Russia’s state budget into research and development work. The Russian government currently funds R&D work on a non-refundable basis, but only if the manufacturer involved raises 50 percent of the total required sum from commercial sources; the government then provides the remaining 50 percent.

The ministry says the SSJ130NG will use composite material for the entire wing (including center section), elevator and rudder. It expects the new materials will weigh 15 to 20 percent less, increase service life by 20 to 30 percent, reduce operating costs by 10 to 12 percent and reduce energy consumption during manufacture by 10 to 15 percent. The current development schedule calls for testing of experimental components this year and next year, certification of production components in 2015 and manufacturing following in 2016. The ministry says that the decision to develop a new Superjet wing is “necessitated by the need to bring the indigenous aircraft-making industry to an internationally competitive level.”

Fuselage plugs will give the SSJ130NG its greater length, and the airplane will feature new engines from a source yet to be chosen. Some SSJ100 suppliers might be ousted from the SSJ130NG. For example, the SSJ130NG’s developers say the SSJ100 interior from B/E Aerospace will be out, in favor of a lighter and more modern interior from Italian companies, to be installed in “green” Superjets at Aviastar in Ulianovsk starting next year rather than at KnAAPO in Komsomolsk-upon-Amur.

Russia’s Irkut and SCAC parent United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) are trying to achieve “synergy effects” on the SSJ130NG by using best practices, technologies and partnerships formed in the development of the SSJ100 and the nascent MS-21 program. For that purpose, UAC has established a “directorate of joint programs” under the leadership of Alexander Pimenov, also acting SCAC vice president for engineering.