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Russia: TsAGI produces Slon airlifter model


The Zhukovsky Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) continues to create the new Slon heavy airlifter. An aerodynamic model of the prospective aircraft has been produced, the institute said.


TsAGI produces Slon airlifter 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 has designed the concept of the airlifter and its construction. The next stage was the production of the model of the following size - 1.63 meters in length, wingspan of 1.75 meters, height - 0.5 meters.

Most of it is made of aluminum alloys while stressed elements are made of steel. The weight is acceptable for trials in various wind tunnels (maximum weight is 120 kg).

The model has an uninterrupted wing with dismountable stubs, the fuselage, horizontal fins with declinable two-section elevating rudders, vertical fins with two-section guidance rudders, engine nacelles with pylons and landing gear spat.

"The production of Slon heavy airlifter model was done by stages on digital precision tools. The most intensive was the wing work which has a sophisticated spatial form to ensure high aerodynamic characteristics at cruising regimes," deputy head of the technological department of the institute Andrey Sidorov said.

The model is transformable and can be tested in various configurations. The technological split of the model provides major possibilities to modify the elements of the aerodynamic design, including a change of the front and tail of the fuselage, wing stubs and landing gear spat.

The Slon model will soon be tested in T-106 wind tunnel of variable density. The institute will study its aerodynamic characteristics at cruising regimes. In 2020, Slon tests will continue in T-106 and T-102 tunnels to study aerodynamics at takeoff and landing regimes. The flowing of the model will be visualized.

Slon is to replace An-124 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.