Such an enterprise is Motor Sich. Now it is one of the leading companies in the world engaged in the development, production, repair and maintenance of aircraft gas turbine engines for airplanes and helicopters. To look at everything with my own eyes, the correspondent of "AN" went to Zaporizhia. To a city where the slogan is very popular: “To every Ukrainian by helicopter!”
Dashing Cossack Motors
After a very short running start An-140-100 airlines "Motor Sich" easily detached from the runway at Vnukovo Airport. Two and a half hours of flight to the banks of the Dnieper pass unnoticed. No wonder - in these times it is rare to fly not on airbases or boeing. Therefore, everything is interesting: how many seats there are in the aircraft, what size are compartments for hand luggage, what are they fed in flight. And they feed literally at home: pickled cucumbers, fresh tomatoes, pies with different fillings, and of course, tender Ukrainian lard. Lacking perhaps a stack of honey tincture with pepper.
Everything else also looks, maybe, simple, but reliable, like a Kalashnikov assault rifle. It’s not crowded, the luggage racks are very roomy, the cute Ukrainian flight attendants speak Russian better than some of the Moscow 50 passengers. Directly behind the porthole monotonously hums turboprop engine production "Motor Sich". Surprisingly, only about three dozen of such aircraft have been produced to date. However, in the current situation, the dominance of all Western things, even this one should be happy - with another “Antonov”, “Ilyushin” and “Tupol” people were even less fortunate.
The great merit is that in Ukraine in general they still make airplanes, belongs to the company founded more than a hundred years ago. "Motor Sich". Its name (in the original spelling of “Motor Sich”) comes from the Ukrainian word “Sich”, that is, "Zaporizhzhya Sich". They say that when choosing such a name in the company, they especially wanted to emphasize that they are not making simple aircraft engines, but dashing Cossack engines.
Why do you need a Donetsk hamster?
Zaporozhye is not much different from any Russian regional center - everywhere around the Russian language. If it were not for signs in Ukrainian, one would not understand that you are in a neighboring country. It is officially considered that more than 70% of Ukrainians and 25% of Russians live there. To the eye, everything looks exactly the opposite. The city even preserved a monument to Felix Dzerzhinsky, who is periodically attacked by vandals, but has stood in his place for more than 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The political situation in the country is also in many respects similar to the Russian one. If we have “St. Petersburg” rules for everyone, then in Ukraine they are “Donetsk”, who are actively moving to Kiev to take up leadership positions with their countryman-president. On this occasion, Zaporizhzhya newspapers print jokes:
Kiev. Evening. The family is having dinner.
My wife says to her husband: "Let's go to bed early today, and tomorrow morning we will go to Donetsk to buy a hamster."
Husband: “Why go to Donetsk for a hamster? What, in our city there are no hamsters ??? "
Wife: "You do not understand! Now it is just necessary that at least someone in the family was from Donetsk! ”
In short, with humor in Ukraine, as with a snack, everything is in order. Nevertheless, in comparison with Russia, it is noticeable that there is no crazy oil and gas revenues in the country. The roads, even compared to our notorious ones, look even worse. Salaries are also lower. For example, the announcement of the recruitment of police officers promises to applicants 1900 hryvnia per month (about 7700 rubles). This is a little less than the usual salary for the city, which is 2 – 3 thousand hryvnia (8 – 12 thousand rubles). It should be noted that Zaporozhye, by Ukrainian standards, is almost a metropolis - 770 thousand inhabitants. In private conversations, ordinary Ukrainians complain about the disastrous financial situation and even the return of the lawlessness of 90's. However, this is enough for us. But the passionless statistics of the last 20 years fixes the fall in the number of city residents by almost 100 thousand people. So the people were scattered. The same thing happens in other major cities of the country, except for all of the same Kiev.
On the "Motor Sich" flight weather
It is clear that Ukraine is in a difficult economic situation. These observations are confirmed by the long-term CEO, and now the honorary president of Motor Sich, Vyacheslav Boguslaev. According to him, many high-tech enterprises in the country have just collapsed. However, his company, even in this situation looks good. Despite the fact that there are signs of a crisis on the market, there are problems with sales, the plant is working, it is recruiting people. Staff turnover all 0,63%. It means that no one voluntarily quits. It is easy to understand: the salary for Motor Sich is growing, and there is simply nowhere to go.
In addition, the company cares about the rest of employees. The company brought some of its recreation facilities to five stars. Trying to attract and youth. Recently, a federation of helicopter sports of Ukraine was created, then an aviation club. There will be taught to fly young people, and at the expense of the company. For this, Motor Sich gives its helicopters. The state is not at all involved. Surprisingly, but now in Ukraine there is not a single educational institution that would prepare helicopter pilots.
Therefore, with the pilots trouble. But V. Boguslaev found a way out. Collected pilots for the company, as they say, around the world. Found the bulk in ... Africa. These are Russian and Ukrainian military pilots who worked there under contracts. Now Motor Sich pays them a salary at the level of Southern and Northern Sudan. There is no need to laugh - a military conflict continues in this region, and the salaries of the pilots are very high.
Another important topic that began to be dealt with at Motor Sich several years ago is the remotorization of helicopters. And the point here has gone very far. In Russia, there were even rumors that the company began to produce helicopters independently. This is certainly not the case. Motor Sich does a good business of modifying helicopters. Not far from the airfield of Zaporozhye, the company restored two hangars in which specialists return to life the old Mi-2 and Mi-8. Their turn waiting and combat Mi-24.
The idea is really brilliant. Now in many countries the equipment with an undeveloped resource is thrown out. For example, the Mi-8 helicopters were released in total 22 thousands. And now only 7 – 8 thousands fly. The rest are abandoned in even rows in the same African countries. To begin with, Motor Sich bought the Mi-50 and 8 Mi-70 helicopters from the native Ukrainian army 2. They can also sell 150 units there. It turns out the whole armada - 270 helicopters with undeveloped resources. To return to the system this technique, it must simply be repaired. But for us it is uninteresting. They decided to put on the helicopters all the best and new.
Therefore, the repaired Mi-8 receive a new engine, which gives an increase to the take-off mass of a whole ton. Moreover, compared to new Russian helicopters, such equipment costs 3 – 4 times cheaper. Modernization of the Mi-8 on Motor Sich costs 4 million dollars. And inside Russia, the new Mi-8 helicopter will cost 12 million dollars. Americans sell these even more expensive - for 18 million dollars.
In addition, replacing an old engine with a new one also gives fuel efficiency in 27%. This is a lot. Only on saving kerosene remotorization will pay off in 3 – 5 years. However, in Russia such a project has so far proved to be unnecessary. But experts recognize that the company is largely due to contracts with Russia. And here everything is far from simple.
When politics gets in the way
The work of the company is strongly influenced by international politics. It is no secret that after the notorious “orange” revolution and the coming to power of V. Yushchenko in the Kremlin, they began to look at their neighbors with great suspicion. The situation escalated after the start of the five-day war with Georgia in 2008 - Tbilisi received a lot weapons It was from Ukraine, which, moreover, headed for joining NATO. For “Motor Sich” it's hard times.
Under the pretext of the inability to purchase military equipment and parts for it from a country that is ready to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance, Russia began to curtail cooperation with a Ukrainian company. Many experts consider this argument artificial and artificial. At the same time, sticking sticks into rotors to excellent Ukrainian engines, Moscow, for example, bought the same Mistrals and communication systems in France. It turns out that the attitude to the neighboring and without exaggeration of the brotherly country, which the Kremlin actively woos in the Customs Union, was worse than to one of the leading NATO countries. As V. Boguslaev said, his friends in Moscow now admit that at that time the installation was popular: “Do not let Motor Sich go to the Russian market and further to the markets of third countries.”
However, it seems that the hardest period of bilateral relations is over. According to V. Boguslaev, the situation has changed very dramatically. Three years ago he had concerns about cooperation - today he sees no obstacles. Apparently, the whole point is that now in our country the question of rearming the army has become very serious. For this we need new engines that are able to give a new quality to combat aircraft and helicopters. And here it is impossible to do without the Ukrainian engine builders. So the basis of such a turn technique, which makes "Motor Sich". She has no alternative neither in price, nor in quality, nor in terms of production time.
The Russian military began to arrive at the plant - this was not about ten years. In addition, the company has recently felt the warming of relations with the enterprises of the Russian United Engine Corporation (UEC), with helicopter companies. Now even raised the question of signing an agreement on the production of Ukrainian helicopter engines in Russia. Previously, this was not talking.
Moreover, recently, Motor Sich was made a new helicopter engine, with which the usual and familiar Mi-8 is able to rise to an altitude of 9 km. This is higher than Everest. Soon in the presence of representatives of the Guinness Book of Records on a machine planned to record flight. For our army fighting in the mountains, this technique is indispensable.
Where recorded in the foreign agents?
Nevertheless, there are problems now. At the grassroots level in the ministries and departments, many officials are in panic afraid to make decisions on cooperation with Ukraine on their own. Looking from Moscow, you can understand this position. The country is actively looking for "foreign agents", and in such a situation it is very easy to be known as an accomplice of Bandera. Especially in the Russian media this topic, unfortunately, spins up. Many willingly believe in conspiracy theories, because they themselves have never been in modern Ukraine. Now it is easier to go on vacation not to the Crimea or to the Sea of Azov, but to the same Turkey.
However, it is worth visiting the neighbors, how quickly it turns out that the devil is not so bad as he is painted. Moreover, the "devils" there is difficult to find.
Rather the opposite. A priest in the Zaporizhia Cathedral of St. Andrew the First-Called, built with the help of Motor Sich, says that he was born in Belgorod. However, now, when he comes to his homeland, he suddenly becomes a crest there. Here is a territorial-national squiggle. It seems that such a situation is beneficial for businessmen who are trying to do their business on the separation of close people and entire nations.
Therefore, the Academy of Sciences will continue to advocate close cooperation between Russia and Ukraine in the field of aircraft manufacturing. Let the editorial office be recorded in foreign agents. It is better to be an agent of the fraternal Ukrainian aircraft building than a servant of the American and European aircraft industry, which is so nice to the “Russian” government of Prime Minister M. and his beloved Minister Manturov.
With all the recent positive developments on some issues, there are complete misunderstandings. At the last aivasalone in Le Bourget, the attention of all visitors was attracted by the beautiful An-70 transport plane. By the way, this plane has already been copied in the West. But the clone called Airbus A400M was worse than the Antonov machine.
In Russia, An-70 also likes many. At a press conference in early August, General Vladimir Shamanov, commander of the landing forces, said he did not understand why this aircraft is still not in service with our army. If Russia is going to make a rapid reaction force, then such transport workers cannot do. V. Shamanov is an ardent supporter of this project.
The fact is that our excellent aircraft IL-76 for today performs only 50% of the functions that are needed for the transfer of weapons. Of the 19 mandatory requirements of the Ministry of Defense, he meets only nine. For example, the Mi-8 helicopter simply does not fit into the IL-76. From it it is necessary to remove blades and a reducer. These are three extra days. In such a situation it is impossible to talk about any rapid response. An-70 satisfies all mandatory requirements. It is taller, larger in diameter. But most importantly - the plane can take off from the ground. It is clear that in the event of war, this feature will be priceless. However, the necessary equipment does not reach the army. They say that for An-70 in Russia again there is not enough money. Apparently, those that were singled out had already been plundered by Serdyuk clerks. It’s time to break the vicious circle - we are talking about the security of the state.
However, according to V. Boguslaev, the plane will still break through. If it turns out to be not needed by the military, it will go to the civilian sector, where it will carry oversized cargo over long distances. Such a project on Motor Sich is being considered. Most likely, the company for the civilian version of the military transport aircraft An-70 will make the new aircraft engine D-727. As they say, it will be based on the same principles as the famous Kuznetsovsky NK-93. So that our newspaper work is not in vain.