Russian manufacturer of aircraft powerplants United Engine Corporation (UEC) is preparing for the first flight  test of its new commercial product – the PD-14 engine. This 14-ton-thrust turbofan, designed to power Russia's new MS-21 narrowbody airliner, is expected to take off on the flying laboratory in March 2015. The Ilyushin Il-76 testbed will be ready in December this year.

PD-14 is being developed by Perm-based Aviadvigatel company, a UEC subsidiary. It will be a core of the new family of powerplants with a thrust range from 12 to 18 tons.

Although the Russian Corporation is showing only a scaled mock-up at Airshow China 2014, the first PD-14 prototype started bench testing this summer and has already logged more than 100 hours. Aviadvigatel is simultaneously testing two cores for PD-14 that have logged more than 120 hours.

A UEC representative confirmed to Show News that a second prototype engine began testing in October, to be followed by two more engines by the year-end. Aviadvigatel plans to assemble 22 engines for ground and flight tests, its CEO and Chief Designer Alexander Inozemtsev promised earlier this year.

Russian certification of this engine is planned for April 2017, and EASA validation a year later. The first MS-21 powered by PD-14 is expected to take off in June 2017. The basic variant will be installed in the 160-seat MS-21-300 variant while the derated, 12.5 ton PD-14A is being designed for a shorter version – the MS-21-200 with 135 passenger capacity.

The first engine on the new airliner will be the Pratt & Whitney PW1400G geared turbofan, slated to fly on the MS-21's maiden flight in spring 2016.

The MS-21 designer, Irkut Corporation, reports about 270 orders including 175 firm commitments, mainly from Russian leasing companies.