Russia Commits to Full-Scale Production of Engine for MC-21

 - April 18, 2017, 10:37 AM
Engineers work on a PD-14 engine assembly at the Perm aviation plant in Russia. (Photo: Rostec)

Russia’s United Engine Corporation (UEC) plans to spend 21.9 billion rubles ($390 million) to upgrade its production facilities from 2017 to 2025 to prepare for mass production of Aviadvigatel PD-14 engines for the new Irkut MC-21 narrowbody, parent company Rostec State Corporation announced Tuesday. The company defines as one of the upgrade program directives re-equipment of production with universal machining centers intended for manufacturing complex parts. For that element alone, Rostec has allocated 4.6 billion rubles through a corporate bonded loan.

The company plans to spend another 14.3 billion rubles on the creation of aftersales service system, including the establishment of repair facilities, a training center, a spare parts distribution network and maintenance and repair centers. Plans call for the Russian federal government to fund that project.

UEC aims to produce at least 50 sets of equipment per year for PD-14 assembly. Over the next eight years UEC expect to invest 2.95 billion rubles, coming from borrowed funds and its own coffers, in the project.

UEC expects to complete the upgrade of the stand for aircraft engine testing by this year’s third quarter. It estimates its investment in the project will total 96.2 million rubles.

Plans call for the PD-14 program to eventually expand into a family of engines ranging from 12.5 to 18 metric tons of thrust for passenger and cargo aircraft, starting with the Irkut MC-21. Now in flight testing aboard an Ilyushin Il-76 flying testbed, the PD-14 would gain Russian certification some time in 2018 and European validation the following year if all goes according to plan.

The PD-14 would serve as the Russian alternative for the Pratt & Whitney PW1400Gs set to power the MC-21’s first prototype. During last June’s rollout ceremony for the airplane in Irkutsk, Russia, United Aircraft Corporation officials said that the airplane could fly for the first time in February at the earliest. However, UAC and Irkut still have not established a firm target for first flight, despite reports from Russia it would fly this spring.