AERO INDIA: United Aircraft boss urges full MTA contract

Bangalore
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United Aircraft (UAC) wants a contract for full-scale development of the Indian/Russian Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) to be signed later this year, following the completion of the current project definition and draft design phase, says UAC president Mikhail Pogosyan.

A group of 30 personnel from Hindustan Aeronautics have been working with their Ilyushin counterparts in Moscow since December 2012 on the draft design, and freezing the specification will enable the current aggressive MTA schedule to be met, Pogosyan said at the Aero India show near Bengaluru.

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Meanwhile, Ilyushin general director and general designer Victor Livanov confirms the Aviadvigatel PS-90A76 engine already selected for the Il-76MD-90/90A transport is the primary candidate to power a development prototype and initial batch of production aircraft due to appear in the 2017-2018 timeframe.

The newer and more fuel-efficient PS-14 engine being developed for Irkut's MC-21 narrowbody airliner is likely to power later examples of the MTA. But an earlier Indian proposal to use the CFM International CFM56 has been dropped after an evaluation of its thermal dynamics and required performance when operating from hot, high and dusty airfields.

However, the final engine choice remains the responsibility of the MTAL joint venture and the Russian and Indian air forces. Specialists from both services are working closely with the industry to determine the maximum airfield elevation for operating the MTA from, with "an idea" to increase an earlier maximum target of 10,800ft (3,300m) to 13,400ft. Livanov says that if this is advanced, "the PS-90A76 might not deliver the required thrust and come short in other characteristics".