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Screw on the wing
How helicopter builders will fit into the aviation renewal program in the Far East
Two enterprises of the holding "Helicopters of Russia" in the east of the country are implementing programs in the coming years that contribute to the renewal of the regional fleet. The Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant is planning to begin mass production of the light aircraft TVS-2021DTS, which is going to replace An-2, by the year of 2. Arseniev Air Company Progress will close the need for regions in helicopters capable of carrying out a wide range of activities. EastRussia talked with helicopter builders to find out how serious these plans are.
TVS-2DTS should come to replace the aircraft An-2, which were produced from the end of 1940-x. As the designers say, the new sample absorbed all the best and reliable that was in the Soviet car, and at the same time, it exceeded the predecessor by speed, load-carrying capacity, range of flight, and economy. For example, in TVS-2DTS, composite materials are widely used, most of them in civil aviation previously not used.
"Today, about 1300 An-2 aircraft are registered in Russia, of which only 300 machines are in the state of airworthiness. We have to solve the large-scale task of reviving the network of regular regional air transportation, "said Leonid Belykh, Managing Director of Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant.
It is this enterprise that will carry out the final assembly of the aircraft, although other assets of the holding company "Helicopters of Russia" are involved in its production.
A long-term contract for the supply of new equipment was signed with the airline "Polar Airlines". According to the Minister of Transport and Road Economy of Yakutia Semyon Vinokurov, with the introduction of the TVS-2DTS airplane, the availability of passenger air transport will increase significantly, primarily in the northern and arctic regions of the country.
The first batch of Ulan-Ude plant plans to transfer in 2021 year. According to the agreement, he must supply at least 200 cars for regional aviation needs. The timing of such a voluminous contract is being clarified. "Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done: you need to make prototypes, get certified, develop a training program for flight and technical personnel. But the presence of the contract already indicates the reality of the project, "Leonid Belykh said.
Another holding company is the Arsenyev Aviation Company Progress. Sazykina is working on the Ka-62 multi-purpose helicopter project, which can occupy a niche between the Ansat-class light helicopters and the medium-sized Mi-8 helicopters. "It is designed to transport 12-15 passengers for distances up to 600 km, offshore operations, emergency medical assistance, aerial work and surveillance, cargo transport inside the cabin and external suspension, patrolling and environmental monitoring. It is obvious that the range of its application is quite wide, "says Yury Denisenko, Managing Director of Arsenyev Aircraft Progress Company.
A special feature of Ka-62, as in the case of TVS-2DTS, is the widespread use of polymer composite materials (PCM) plus high-strength aluminum, titanium alloys and steel. The volume of structures from PCM has been brought to 60% by weight, due to which the weight of the empty helicopter is reduced, accordingly speed, maneuverability and carrying capacity are increased, fuel consumption is reduced.
To date, two Ka-62 flight models have been manufactured (one of them was presented in 2017 at the III Eastern Economic Forum), which are being tested, a third machine is being built. "The decision on the serial release of Ka-62, in accordance with the current regulations, will be taken after the completion of ground and flight certification tests of several prototypes of the helicopter. They will last two years, "Yuriy Denisenko said.
Interest in Ka-62 is already shown by potential customers, in particular, oil and gas companies and local authorities. Positively estimated Ka-62 Governor of Kamchatka Territory Vladimir Ilyukhin. More than 65% of the Kamchatka helicopter fleet is currently in operation for more than 25 years, and the region's leadership is considering updating it. The question is relevant for Yakutia. It is by helicopters that flights are carried out in 16 regions of the country along 86 routes, where there is no other possibility of transport communication.
"It's too early to talk about production volumes, because they will depend solely on the demand of customers. One way or another, for Progress, there are no restrictions on capacity utilization by orders for Ka-62, "Yuriy Denisenko said.
As is known, Progress is working closely on defense orders, in particular, for the production of military helicopters Ka-52 "Alligator". At the same time, the aircraft builders assure, the enterprise has enough capacities to additionally manufacture helicopter equipment both within the framework of the contract with the Ministry of Defense and civilian direction. In recent years, the plant has developed thanks to the federal target program "Technical re-equipment (reconstruction) of the production of PJSC" AAK "Progress". In 2016, the enterprise refurbished the final assembly shop, the production capacity of which doubled, in 2017 the helicopter hangar was reconstructed. This year, modernization of the Progress airfield base was completed: the existing helicopter platforms were expanded, which allowed increasing their capacity from three to five vehicles. Also, the construction of an apron for parking of aircrafts, a group parking lot for helicopters, taxiways, and a testing and testing facility was completed.
Currently, the company is upgrading the center for preparation of production and thermal production, reconstructing the composite production, testing and assembly shops, a compressor station, the construction of a galvanic casing and an anodizing station is being completed.
"In addition, the process of manufacturing Ka-52 helicopters at the enterprise has already been completed, performed on time and with proper quality, so it can not prevent the development of new products," the managing director of the Arsenyev Air Company Progress said.