Russia has taken an important step towards the goal of having a high-thrust turbofan engine. The PD-35, from UEC-Aviadvigatel, had the first prototype mounted on a test bench in early October.
Expected to offer a thrust of about 35 tons (77,000 pounds), the PD-35 is quoted to power the CR929 widebody passenger jet. which is developed by UAC in partnership with the Chinese COMAC.
The new turbofan is based on the PD-14, a new generation engine being tested in Irkut’s MC-21-310 single-aisle jet.
The PD-35 program, like several Russian projects, is not new. It was launched in 2016 with the aim of serving as an engine for some aircraft thought by the Russian government as updated versions of the Il-96, Il-76 jets and even a replacement for the An-124 freighter.
With a fan of 3 meters in diameter, the PD-35 will be much bigger and more powerful than the D-18T, turbofan from the 80’s that is used by the four-engined engines of Antonov.
According to Rostec, the state-owned company that controls most of Russia’s technology companies, the turbofan will have versions ranging from 24 to 38 tonnes of thrust.
The UEC-Aviadvigatel test bench evaluates the functioning of the engine’s hot section, which includes a high-pressure compressor, a combustion chamber and a high-pressure turbine.
In parallel, Rostec states that studies are being carried out to implement 18 new technologies in the engine in the areas of design, coating and materials.
“The development of the PD-35 engine for wide-body aircraft passed an important milestone. Work has been underway for a year and a half, now the demonstrator is being tested, with stable operation,” said Vladimir Artyakov, deputy director of Rostec .
The company does not stipulate a deadline for the PD-35 to enter service, but the expectation is that the first test turbofan will carry out its inaugural flight in 2023.