Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute
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TsAGI specialists developing the concept of a cryogenic integrated-circuit heavy transport aircraft

16 January 2017

Specialists of the Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute named after professor N.E. Zhukovsky (TsAGI, a part of the Scientific Research Center “Institute named after N.E. Zhukovsky”) are developing the concept of an integrated-circuit heavy transport aircraft. Such layout combines functions of a wing with those of a body to take optimal advantage of the aircraft interior and to enhance the aerodynamic efficiency.

The aircraft is intended for intercontinental transportation of large amounts of cargo — up to 500 t, including transportation in approved containers. They are to be placed in compartments inside a wing and loaded via flap doors of fore-sections (leading edges) in the aircraft’s center. The aircraft will utilize existing runways. The largest part of this aircraft’s flight takes place at an altitude of 3-12 m above water, ice or ground: these surfaces produce a screening effect which improves the lift/drag ratio considerably, leading to a decrease in fuel consumption and a significant increase in flight range.

As part of the concept research, a model was created and tested by the Institute’s specialists in a subsonic wind tunnel. The works were performed at cruise and take-off and landing ratings. Water, ice and ground surfaces were simulated with a screen, which was a plate with rounded corners. The experiment has proved that the layout under research has a high aerodynamic cleanness both near, and in the absence of the screen, thus enabling a steady and guided flight of the aircraft.

The aircraft is to employ liquefied natural gas. This cryogenic fuel has a higher energy efficiency and lower noxious emissions as compared to aviation kerosene. Use of natural gas will ensure environmental safety of a flight, thus giving a weighty competitive advantage as compared to existing transportation systems.

TsAGI Press Service
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