T-50 Engine Testing

An Item 30 engine, designed by the Lyulka Design Bureau, completed the first live ignition second stage ground test at the Lytkarino Machine Building Plant, a subsidiary of NPO Saturn according to an official announcement on November 25.

The Item 30 engine will be produced by the United Engine Company for Russia’s Sukhoi T-50 fifth-generation fighter and is expected to fly in a pre-production aircraft starting in late 2017.

To date, all pre-productions T-50 aircraft are powered by the NPO Saturn AL-41F1 Item 117 engine, an upgrade of the Saturn AL- 41F Item 117S engine used on the Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E and the interim engine for the first production-series T-50s.

An Item 30 engine is projected to generate approximately 24,050lb (107kN) of thrust in military power and 39,600lb (176kN) in full afterburner, compared to the Item 117 rated at 33,067lb (147.1kN) thereby delivering 15%– 18% higher overall performance, reducing fuel consumption and infrared signature, and providing the T-50 with supercruise capability.

The eighth T-50 prototype flew from the Sukhoi factory at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association or KnAAPO plant for the first time on November 17. Three more are currently under construction. Deliveries of production-series T-50s to the Russian Air Force are scheduled to begin in 2018. David C Isby