Russia continues designing PAK DA engine - part 2

Major Defense Ministry orders issued to UEC-Kuznetsov enterprise in Samara helped it resume batch production of engines for the long-range aviation suspended 27 years ago and begin creating completely new power plants for next-generation aircraft, the Zvezda weekly writes.

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Russia continues designing PAK DA engine part 2 On November 3, a heavily upgraded Tu-160M strategic missile-carrying bomber performed its debut flight with new engines (Picture source: United Aircraft Corporation)

“The work is being done to offer engines with improved characteristics to the customer. As for the new gas generator, we plan to create a line of military and civilian engines on its basis, as well as industrial turbines. We view the Samara University as the key partner due its competences in digital twins, prototype methods and construction optimization. It is systemic work rather than single events,” UEC-Kuznetsov Designer General Pavel Chupin said.

The gas generator project will take three years, but the first results will be summed up in 2021. “At this stage, we shall check the R&D, which is to produce the engine, including a 3D geometric model without design documentation. We shall stop to assess the results of the work and decide on its continuation or a new R&D related to the production of a demonstrator and prototypes of the gas generator for trials,” Chupin said.

The UEC-Kuznetsov is today engaged in the production of fourth-generation engines. NK-32 output has begun in the so-called second series.

“The main difference between NK-32 of the second series and NK-32 of the first phase is that the former has been upgraded. The weight decreased, as well as specific fuel consumption. Tu-160 aircraft with NK-32-02 engines will fly a longer distance,” Chupin said.

The first trials of the upgraded Tu-160 bomber have been held. The enterprise has to switch to sustainable supplies. The first six NK-32-02 engines were shipped in August 2020. The next two followed in mid-October. Other engines have been produced in metal and are undergoing trials. “The production has to ensure sustainable supplies of new engines to the customer,” Chupin said.

The maiden Tu-160 flight with NK-32-02 engines on November 3 was a major 2020 event for the Long-range aviation. The UEC-Kuznetsov reported in the same month that it had handed over a development batch of upgraded engines to the customer. “The plant began regular supplies of new engines. Two serial NK-32-02 motors made only of domestic materials were supplied according to a contract with the Tupolev Company and the Russian Defense Ministry,” it said.

Thus, the UEC-Kuznetsov regained the status of a serial producer of aircraft engines, which it lost in 1993. “The plant producing such hardware enjoys prospects for decades to come. It guarantees stability to the workforce, develops and participates in prospective projects,” UEC-Kuznetsov Deputy CEO Alexey Sobolev told the Zvezda.

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