Russia and China are in talks to deepen their cooperation in the development of commercial aircraft engines and their aftermarket support packages.
Until recently China tended to buy in or license Russian powerplants, but the onus is now shifting to joint development, says Victor Kladov, director of international cooperation for Rostec, a state umbrella organization tasked with advancing Russian technology businesses.
As part of the Aviation Expo China 2017 in Beijing, Russia’s United Engine Building (UEB) is holding talks with Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC), the Aero-Engine Corporation of China (AECC) and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).
One of the key projects under discussion is production of an engine for a prospective Chinese-Russian widebody, a 250-300-seat aircraft dubbed the C929.
Central to development is likely to be Russia’s UEB and China’s AECC, the engine developer that was formed early last year as an amalgamation of about 93,000 employees from smaller companies.
China’s two main state aerospace companies, AVIC and COMAC, are both shareholders in AECC, which, at launch, was to be capitalised with $7.5bn.
“The negotiations will be centred on cooperation in the design and manufacture of prospective civilian engines, their maintenance service and repairs,” said Rostec in a statement.
UEB says it is developing a ‘PD-35’ engine family for prospective widebody aircraft. The design is said to incorporate advanced materials for weight savings, lighter hot-section components and a low-emission combustion chamber.
Russian media reports that the PD-35 may build on the core developed for the PD-14 engine set to power the MS-21 narrowbody aircraft that is currently in testing.
The PD-14 was designed to offer 15% better fuel efficiency than current-generation narrowbody engines.