Engineers at the Moscow-based Baranov Central Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM) have taken an interest in converting the engines developed for the Kortezh project into engines for aircraft. In an interview with Sputnik, CIAM director Mikhail Gordin explained that research into the feasibility of converting the engines for use by aircraft is already underway.
"We've reached a contract with the ministry of industry and trade for work under the 'Adaptation' initiative, which implies the study of the methodology for turning an automotive engine into an aircraft engine. We are taking an engine from the Khortezh project and converting it into an aircraft engine. The work will conclude with the creation of a demonstrator," Gordin said.
According to the institute director, the goal of the project is to get a sense of exactly what needs to be modified in a car engine for it to be suitable for use by aircraft.
"The idea is that automobile engines are mass-produced, and have a cost which is significantly lower [than that of aircraft engines], meaning that there is an opportunity to create a relatively inexpensive aircraft engine. We took the Kortezh project engine because it is currently the most modern automobile engine in Russia. If everything goes according to plan, a year-and-a-half or two years from now, this project will move on to the stage of experimental-design work," Gordin concluded.
The Kortezh series of state vehicles was officially unveiled at President Vladimir Putin's inauguration ceremony in May. In addition to the Senate limousines and sedans, the series includes an Arsenal minivan, with work continuing on the Kommendant SUV, as well as a motorcycle being developed under the Izh brand. Work on a convertible version of the Senate is underway.
Kortezh vehicles will be made available for sale to the public beginning in 2019 under the Aurus brand. This summer, one of the companies involved in the Kortezh project said that several foreign governments have expressed an interest in the vehicles.