TsAGI tests Slon aircraft model

The Zhukovsky Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) completed the first stage of aerodynamic trials of a model of the heavy Slon airlifter, the institute said.

TsAGI tests Slon aircraft model  The Ilyushin Il-106 Slon (lit. 'Elephant') is a Russian next-generation heavy military transport aircraft, currently under development by Ilyushin within the PAK VTA programme (Picture source: TsAGI)

“TsAGI determined the concept of the future aircraft and produced a metal model. At the initial stage, the scientists studied the aerodynamics of the model in a range of Mach 0.2 — 0.85. The tests were held in T-106 wind tunnel,” it said.

The tests determined the dependence of aerodynamic characteristics on the angle of attach and Mach speed and the influence of fins, engine nacelles, chassis cowls on air resistance. Directional stability and altitude rudders were researched. The carrying and speed features of the wing were tested. The results confirmed calculated characteristics.

The trial stage will include visualization of the model flow at cruising regimes to optimize aerodynamic design components. The next stage will include tests in T-102 tunnel. Specialists will study characteristics at low Mach and parameters of lateral stability and steering rudder effectiveness.

The Slon is to replace An-124 Ruslan airlifter. It can carry large cargoes to 7000 km at a speed of 850 km/h. Maximum commercial payload is 180 tons (An-124 — 120 tons). The airstrip has to be three kilometers long. Slon is to be powered by Russian PD-35 engines.

TsAGI tests Slon aircraft model 02An Antonov An-124-100 inflight with 2 Sukhoi Su-27s of the Falcons of Russia aerobatic team during the 2010 Moscow Victory Day Parade (Picture source: Sergey Kustov)

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