Conceptual design of next generation heavy transport aircraft

Design, construction and manufacturing of flying vehicles


Krutov A. A.*, Pigusov E. A.**, Chernavskikh Y. N.***, Chernousov V. I.

Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute named after N.E. Zhukovsky, TsAGI, 1, Zhukovsky str., Zhukovsky, Moscow Region, 140180, Russia



The lion share of Russian transport aviation profits accrues to transportation of oversized and heavy cargoes by wharf aircraft An-124 and Il-76. The significant share of these cargoes accrues to An-124 due to its higher weight-lift ability and the size of the cargo cabin. The intensive exploitation of An-124 aircraft by the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation and civil air cargo carriage will eventually lead to the airframe service life wear-out (even with account for its prolongation). At the same time, the An-124 production recommencement is impossible due to the current geopolitical situation. It is also worth mentioning, that An-124 effectiveness while containers and pallets transportation (constituting the biggest part of freight traffics) is rather low compared to cargo modifications of wide-body passenger aircraft

Thus, there are prerequisites for developing new heavy transport aircraft employing modern achievements in the field of design, aero dynamics, strength, material science, control systems etc.

The perspective heavy transport aircraft should become the adequate replacement of An-214 for Russian military transport aviation, and, at the same time, be attractive to civil cargo airlines, i.e. possess the economy of General cargos transportation, comparable to cargo modifications of passenger aircraft.

The technical concept of the prospective heavy transport aircraft “Elephant” (HTA “Elephant”) meant for carry the wide range of cargoes, including heavy and oversized cargoes, was developed within the framework of Government Contract with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation in Central Aero-hydrodynamic Institute.

Selection of the major parameters of the aircraft was performed. The draft aerodynamic characteristics and weight reports of the developed arrangement options were determined. Computation of HTA “Elephant” performance and take-off and landing characteristics was performed. The selected geometry and weight parameters ensure transportation of 150 tons of payload at a distance of 7000 km with basing on a runway 3000 m long. With maximum payload of 180 tons, the practical flight range is 4900 km. The takeoff weight limitations while basing on a runway 2500 m long are also determined.

The obtained results will be applied as a ground for the studies continuation of a prospective heavy transport aircraft.


conceptual design, transport aircraft, General cargoes, aerodynamic layout, aircraft performance


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