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July 12, 2024
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In a world moving towards big twins, Russia’s Frigate has decided to move to quad power.   As Alexader Klimov, Frigate project leader, suggests, speed to market is the prime mover in the decision.  He says there are no engines of the size he wants to keep the aircraft a twin.  The thrust he requires ranges from 40K to 50K.

Here is a rendering of what the quad Ecojet might look like.

Intriguingly, Klimov’s vision of the aircraft closely resembles the purported 797.   The Ecojet is going to be a contender for the MoM.  Which means a high-risk profile for Frigate.  Currently, Airbus is cleaning up in this segment, without a real competitor.  Boeing is still mulling its next move in this segment, which it originally identified and then owned with the 757 and 767.

Perhaps it is time for Frigate to look east?  China wants to reduce dependence on western OEMs and is funding a number of projects with Russian origins.

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Addison Schonland
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

1 thought on “Frigate Ecojet swims upstream

  1. If the A330ceo is a middle-of-market aircraft and is perfectly happily powered by Trent 772s, CF6-80E1s or PW4168s, then why can’t this MoM aircraft be powered by the same engines? If it has so much less range but is so aerodynamically efficient that it doesn’t require 60,000lb-plus thrust per engine from a twin-engine configuration, then it would be a very simple matter (and win all likelihood improve engine reliability) for the designer to ask the engine OEMs for derated versions of their existing engines. That thrust requirement could be accomplished without even changing the designs of the engines and merely developing appropriate data plugs for them. For that matter, P&W is still producing PW2000 engines as F117s for C-17s and the PW4000 is a 40,000lb-plus thrust engine which is very mature and very reliable. But in these days of highly efficient MoM twins, to go to a quad configuration for a MoM aircraft design, as Airbus did for the A340-200 and A340-300, basically would be equivalent to consigning the aircraft to abject commercial failure.

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