AL-31F M2 engine contemplated by OKB Sukhogo (Sukhoi Design Bureau)

28 February 2012, Moscow Technical experts gathered at FSUE Gas-Turbine Engineering RPC Salut for a conference to review the results of Salut's R&D efforts towards implementing the 2nd Phase of the AL-31F engine modernization (known as AL-31F M2). OKB Sukhogo is showing interest in the engine upgrade to pursue the repowering program of Su-27SM and Su-34 aircraft of the Russian Air Force.

The R&D appraisal meeting the first one after a five years' pause saw the participation of all the parties concerned: OKB Sukhogo, Lyulka NTTs, United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine-Building Corporation. The project status report was presented by Sergey Rodyuk, who noted that all the activities for the second phase of the engine upgrade had been in close adherence to the specified timeframes. The special program of the 2nd phase engine bench tests in the climatic test facility at TsIAM has by now been completed with the results demonstrating the engine's capability of attaining 14 500 kgf of static thrust and proving its design performance parameters in flight conditions. Compared with the first-phase AL-31FM, the latest iteration has a 9% higher thrust during flight operation.

The overall engine size will be subject to no trade-offs so as to keep the AL-31F upgrade conveniently suited for re-engining of the whole inventory of Su-27 aircraft without any additional airframe and engine nacelle modifications. - said Gennady Skirdov, Salut's acting General Designer.

It is planned to have the program of special test-bench and endurance tests accomplished before the end of 2012 and go ahead with the special flight tests, which precede the state certification tests.

Vladislav Masalov, Director General of Salut, said that the full-scale deliveries of upgraded engines could be started as early as 2013. The AL-31F M2 engine can be a not so expensive solution for re-engining of Su-27, Su-30 and Su-34 fleet now operated by the Russian military and is likewise deliverable to foreign customers, noted Director General. The technical specifications and requirements of Su-27SM and Su-34 aircraft call for the engines with increased thrust and improved fuel consumption with the AL-31F M2 fulfilling these requisites. The installation can be performed without any rework of the aircraft and take place in field conditions.

Relevant tips:

AL-31F M2 engine is a by-pass turbojet derived from the AL-31F propulsion system. The engine thrust at special power setting is 14 500 kgf. The specified life of the upgraded engine exceeds 3 000 hours. The engine features minimal differences with Series 3, 20 and 23 while offering enhanced propulsion performance characteristics with reduced specific fuel consumption, including at unaugmented power settings. Does not require airframe rework if installed on Su-27, Su-30 and Su-34 aircraft to replace the older engine Series. The upgrading can take place when overhauling the earlier versions of engines. The re-engining makes for improved flight and operational performance of aircraft through enhancement of parameters and abolishing the oxygen-charging system. A better control accuracy and diagnosing efficiency are to provide additional benefits.


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