Wednesday, February 13, 2008

AVIC-I about to realize indigenous engines production for PLA Air Force

WS-10 Turbofan engine

Recently, AVIC-I announced that its "Taihang" (WS-10) has entered the mass production stage and been ready for being installed with PLA Air force main fighters, such as J-10 and J-11.

According to AVIC-I news resource, AVIC-I Shenyang Aero-engine Design & Research Institute (SEDRI), known as No.606 Institute, has resolved series of technological problems and the number of provided WS-10A engine, the production model, has reached the highest in history. "Taihang" Turbofan Engine has been finalized its prototype development and entered the batch production for PLA Air Force.

AVIC-I did not leash that what the exact kind of combat aircraft will use WS-10A. But it may be estimated that PLA Air Force's J-11B but not J-10 is the first user. J-10's rear fuselage is designed for installing with AL-31F turbofan engine, so WS-10A has to be decreased the maximum diameter for matching the size.

AVIC-I said that the SEDRI has achieved the sale of RMB 4.78 million (USD 66.4 million). Considering of the modern turbofan engine usually costs USD 2.7-3 millions, SEDRI almost provide 15-20 WS-10A engines for 7-8 J-11B dual-engine heavy air superiority fighters in last year. Certainly, future WS-10 manufacturing will be transferred to Liming Engine Corporation.

AVIC-I SEDRI also admitted that variants of WS-10 engine has been finished its design and solved relevant technical readiness. The most urgent one is the size modified and thrust enhanced WS-10, called as WS-10B for J-10 fighter and it has been granted testing approval successfully. AVIC-I SEDRI said that the WS-10B has been ready for Combat Aircraft Installation.

"Kunlun" Turbo Engine (WP-14)

SEDRI also introduced that "Kunlun" Turbo Engine (WP-14) improved model WP-14II has passed the technical examination and effectively ensure the delivery for new members of J-8II and J-7 family. China resource indicated that WP-14II’s maximum thrust has reached 8400 kg.

In addition, AVIC-I Xi'an Aero-engine (group) LTD finally was granted the production approval of "Qinling" WS-9 medium thrust turbofan engine, a copy of RR Spey MK202 imported for JH-7 fighter in 1970s. In 2005, WS-9 turbofan engine got its design approval after the project initiation in 1994.

Actually, PLA Air Force has been suffering from realizing Spey MK202 engine indigenous production for over 30 years. The success of WS-9 engine will greatly speed the deploying of more JH-7/JH-7A attackers. Comparing with original prototype engine, Xi'an Aero-engine (group) LTD has made modifications of new annular combustor, 4-stage fan, 10-stage high pressure Compressor and convergent—divergent nozzle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, I am interested in China's fighter development. Are you sure the WS-10a has begun production. I have heard that quality issues had delayed it for 5 more years. I hope you are right. What is your source?