Volga-Dnepr Group’s international competition to design an ‘Advanced Transport Aircraft of the 21st Century’ inspired aircraft engineers and aviation enthusiasts from 22 to 74 years of age to put forward their ideas and was won by three students attending the Moscow Aviation Institute.

The 12-month long contest culminated in the winners being announced on 15 August 2014 at the third International Air Transport Forum (IATF-2014) in Ulyanovsk, Russia, the city where Volga-Dnepr was founded in 1990.

The winning team of Sergey Borovykh, Nikolay Turbin and Ilya Ageev presented a 200-page project for the design of a ‘Heavy Transport Aircraft Concept with New Aerodynamic Configuration’. Their proposal consisted of a full description and design solutions for a triplane aircraft of the Antonov-225 ‘Mriya’ type. The twin-boom designed aircraft with external loading capability is designed to carry ‘super heavy’ and outsize cargo suspended under a center wing section between two fuselages. The winners have now been invited to join the Volga-Dnepr Design Bureau team.

Artem Aroutyunov, Deputy Technical Director and Head of Design Bureau at Volga-Dnepr Group, said: “We launched this contest for everyone who cares about the future of transport aviation, who aspires to contribute to its development, and who has the energy and knowledge to do this. That is why we did not set age limits. The youngest participant in the contest was 22 and the eldest was 74 years of age. Through this exercise, which has realised all of our original goals, we have met a lot of talented people and received interesting, complex and detailed projects for transport aircraft and engine units from Russia, Bulgaria, Germany, Serbia and Ukraine. The best of them are real design solutions to be applied in the aviation industry.”

The contest committee was headed by Victor Tolmachev, Technical Director of Volga-Dnepr Group and Chief Designer of the unique An-124 ‘Ruslan’ transport aircraft.

The second prize went to a team from Stuttgart in Germany that consisted of pilot Herd-Dieter Manfred Schmidt, flight instructor Manuel Schmidt and assistant professor Gunter Faust.

Alexey Komarov s design Alexey Komarov, a graduate of Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry, was awarded a special prize for his ‘future airlifter’ concept. The aircraft model he designed was exhibited on Volga-Dnepr Group’s exhibition stand during IATF-2014 and its supporting promotional video attracted the attention of many visitors. Earlier, this concept was shown at the China-Russia Expo in Harbin, China, and ‘Innoprom-2014’ in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and received universal recognition from guests, including representatives of the Russian Federation’s top leadership.

The winner of the contest’s special market research category looking at trends and projections for the global airfreight operations market was a team from Kharkiv Aviation Institute Department of Economics and Marketing led by Professor Vasiliy Vartanyan. The ‘Engines of the future for heavy cargo aircraft’ category was won by Nikolay Makarov, a student at Ufa State Aviation Technical University.

All of the winners received special prizes from Volga-Dnepr Group. Artem Aroutyunov added: “In reviewing each project, we considered its novelty and originality, technical realism, evaluated its effectiveness, the level of engineering and the potential for realisation of the design. In Volga-Dnepr Design Bureau we actively work to create the concept of future transport aircraft and we want to express our gratitude to all of the contest participants. Their skills, enthusiasm and proactive approach have truly inspired us. We will do our best to apply the results of their work in Volga-Dnepr’s activities and 21st century aviation design.”

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