Taking into account the situation with cargo planes in Russia and analyzing its experience in the development of cargo planes for various purposes, the Tupolev ANTK in the mid-90s developed the “Cargo planes of Russia” program, which provided for the replacement of obsolete domestic cargo planes of various types with new-generation transport planes, designed taking into account the latest achievements of aviation science and technology. The implementation of this program should provide:
- more than halving fuel consumption;
- reduction in the cost of freight by 40-50%;
- a general increase in the technical level of aircraft;
- increased safety;
- increasing competitiveness in the domestic and foreign markets for aviation services;
- significant improvement in environmental performance;
- the widespread use of aircraft to solve special problems (the creation of a family of specialized aircraft for various purposes based on the basic version).
To date, the most advanced project of ANTK under the Program is the Tu-330 aircraft. The highly economical wide-body transport aircraft Tu-330 is being created based on scientific, technical, and production groundwork for serial Tupolev medium-range passenger aircraft of the latest generation Tu-204 and Tu-214. The level of unification of the Tu-330 with the basic modification of the Tu-204 aircraft reaches 75%, which should provide a significant reduction in the terms of serial development and certification of the Tu-330.
The medium transport aircraft Tu-330 is offered to customers as a mass cargo aircraft to replace the fleet of morally and physically retired AN-12 aircraft, as well as to a certain extent Il-76TD aircraft. Broad unification with the basic Tu-204 allows us to provide the following main advantages compared to other alternative projects of the STS (Ukrainian An-70 and European FLA):
- achievement of minimum technical risk during the implementation of the project;
- a two-three-fold reduction in the timing of creation, refinement, and the costs of the pilot and serial production;
- harmonious adaptation to the operating conditions of air traffic control systems in the current structure of cargo transportation in the Russian Federation;
- unification of the cockpit and avionics staff with modern long-haul passenger aircraft, with the possibility of further development of the architecture and composition of the flight-navigation complex and other systems of special equipment;
- a relatively simple solution for putting an aircraft into operation, due to the same structure and composition of the flight and technical crews, the use of a single set of CPA, spare parts, and navigation systems with modern domestic long-range planes.
During the design and layout study of the options and modifications of the basic transport version of the Tu-330 aircraft, the ANTK carefully considered a wide range of possible tasks that the aircraft can solve when used in the interests of the national economy, as well as in the RF Ministry of Defense system. The analysis showed that for mass air travel, the Tu-330, which has higher performance characteristics, better economy, and performance, as well as greater adaptability to the air traffic control system (higher speed and cruise flight altitude than An-70), is preferable.
According to experts, the need for Tu-330 for its own Russian transportation in the civil air fleet is estimated at 100-120 vehicles. The total need of the Tu-330 for the needs of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is estimated at 150-200 vehicles, plus 70-80 vehicles for military departments of other states.
- Tu-330 – basic cargo modification for civilian air fleet;
- Tu-330PS – search and rescue aircraft for search and rescue operations on land and at sea, patrolling in the near and far sea zone, for reconnaissance of fish schools and ice conditions, aerial photography and environmental monitoring;
- Tu-330P – forest fire fighting aircraft;
- Tu-330RL – long-range instrumental reconnaissance aircraft;
- Tu-330R – the variant of the military repeater;
- Tu-330VT – a variant of a basic cargo aircraft with a modern communications system used in the Air Force and a set of equipment for loading, unloading and placing standardly wheeled tracked military equipment and personnel;
- Tu-330SE – ambulance aircraft;
- Tu-330TZ – oil tanker.
The Tu-330 aircraft is made according to the plan of a high-wing with swept wing and swept tail. The wing and tail elements correspond to those used on the Tu-204 while maintaining the high aerodynamic qualities of the latter. The fuselage is designed new, taking into account the intended purpose of the aircraft, the cargo compartment is sealed. At the rear of the fuselage is a cargo hatch with a landing ramp. At the request of the customer, ANTK worked out the possibility of replacing the PS-90A engines with the NK-93, as well as with the engines of the well-known Western companies Rolls-Royce and Pratt and Whitney, which are close in their characteristics to domestic ones, the latter should significantly expand the export capabilities of the aircraft. In the rear part of the fuselage installed APU type TA 12-60. The aircraft landing gear consists of six main fully autonomous struts with two brake wheels on each strut. Front strut with two wheels. The landing gear ensures the operation of the aircraft from concrete and unpaved runways. Among the new design solutions used in the design of the Tu-330, there should be attributed a modernized electric remote control system for the aircraft with central handles instead of traditional helms, flat glass of the cockpit lantern, and the rejection of the side doors of the cargo hatch. A large pressurized cargo compartment (volume 330 cubic meters) is equipped with a built-in complex of transport equipment that provides loading and unloading operations without the use of ground means, as well as the landing of people, goods and equipment, including parachuting.
- Modification of the Tu-330
- Wingspan, m 43.50
- Length, m 42.00
- Height, m 14.00
- Wing Area, m2 195.50
- Maximum take-off weight 103500
- Engine type 2 turbofan engines PS-90A
- Draft, kgf unforced 2 x 16140; forced 2 x 17500;
- Maximum cruising speed, km / h 850
- Cruising speed, km / h 800
- Practical range, km 3000
- Practical ceiling, m 11000
- Crew 3
- Payload: 35,000 kg of cargo