The first image of the superheavy transporter Elephant appeared
TsAGI has published a photograph of a model of the promising heavy-duty military transport aircraft Elephant, created to replace the An-124 Ruslan. The model is made for testing in the wind tunnel of the Institute. The length of the model is 1.63 meters, wingspan 1.75 m, weight 120 kilograms.
To reduce weight, most of it is made of aluminum alloys, and the most loaded elements are made of structural steels.
“The most time-consuming work was on the wing, it has a complex spatial form to ensure high aerodynamic characteristics at cruising modes,” said Andrei Sidorov, deputy chief of the technological department of the pilot production.
The model will be tested in a transonic tube T-106. Tests are planned for 2020 at the T-106 and T-102, and in addition to the characteristics at cruising modes, the behavior of the aircraft during take-off and landing will be studied.
Externally, the “Elephant” resembles the An-124, while it has a number of serious differences from its predecessor. Firstly, it is capable of transporting 180 tons instead of 120. The cargo compartment is almost a meter higher; rails for two telphers with a total carrying capacity of 30 tons will be laid on its ceiling. Above the cargo compartment is a passenger, with a capacity of up to 100 people. “Elephant” can take on board 400 paratroopers and 14 armored vehicles “Tiger” or five self-propelled guns “Octopus”. The aircraft was designed for the promising PD-35 engines with a high bypass ratio. For ease of parking, the tips of the 88-meter wing fold.
In the design of the transporter, many technologies were used from the An-124 reserve: bow and stern loading ramps, the ability to install an additional deck, and a chassis with adjustable clearance