Aviadvigatel Mulls Higher-thrust PD-14s To Replace PS-90A

 - August 19, 2019, 2:59 PM

Aviadvigatel has entered talks with Irkut, Ilyushin, Tupolev, and Beriev on applications for three growth versions of the recently certified 14-tonne-thrust (30,860-pound) PD-14 commercial turbofan. The design house promises to certify the highest thrust version of the new family within six years of receiving a go-ahead.

The PD-14M and the larger PD-16, which produce 15.6 and 17.5 tonnes of thrust, respectively, differ from the baseline engine in that they feature more stages in the low-pressure compressor and turbine (LPC and LPT). Aviadvigatel designed the engines for the still unlaunched 230-seat stretch variant of the MC-21—the MC-21-400—and its long-range (LR) derivative.

The engines would potentially enable refurbishment programs for the Tupolev Tu-204/214 narrowbody, the Ilyushin Il-96-300 widebody, and Il-76M-90A freighter, now powered by the previous-generation PS-90A, which develops 16-tonnes of thrust.

For a further increase in performance, the design house is considering a geared turbofan (GTF) derivative, dubbed the PD-18R. Through the introduction of a gearbox between the compressor and the turbine, Aviadvigatel hopes to achieve a 33 percent increase in maximum thrust and 4 percent improvement in specific fuel burn while keeping the PD-14’s original gas generator.

The PD-18R would produce 18.7 tonnes of thrust compared with the 17.4 tonnes generated by the most powerful version in the previous generation, the PS-90A1, in use on the Il-96-400T freighter. It would become not only the most powerful, but also the most economically efficient engine in the PD-14 family, featuring specific fuel consumption (SFC) of 0.506 pounds of fuel per hour-pound of thrust (lb/lbf/h), compared with 0.526 for the PS-14/M/16, 0.53 for the Leap-1B and 0.51 for the PW1400G and Leap-1A. Should Aviadvigatel manage to deliver on its promise, Russia will have the world’s most fuel-efficient turbofan for the narrowbody jetliner market.

The growth PD-14 derivatives would replace the previous generation engines in production toward the end of the next decade.

Meanwhile, the Perm Motor Plant (PMZ) will soon ship the 500th copy of the PS-90A family, the first of which went into operation in 1992. Even though Russia’s Saturn teamed with France’s Safran to certify the 7.5-tonne-class Powerjet SaM146 in 2010, fuel burn specifications show that the latter burns 6 percent more fuel on average (SFC 0.629 lb/lbf/h against 0.595). Given current production rates, the SaM146 will not surpass the PS-90A in numbers before 2023.

At the same time, PS-90A production runs at a rate of some 70 times lower than that of the CFM56, the West’s most popular commercial turbofan. Yet it enabled PMZ to support 10,000 jobs in-house and many more across the supply chain of more than 120 vendors. Apart from the aviation market, the PS-90 also serves in natural gas pumping and electric power generation roles.