Difficult fate of VK-2500
A few years ago, reports about the intention of the Ukrainian side to create a helicopter industry in their country caused indulgent smiles among many experts. The imminent death was predicted for the Ukrainian engine-building industry, and under the impression of these gloomy forecasts in Russia it was decided to create production of its own helicopter engines in the interests of import substitution. According to the Federal Target Program “Development of the military-industrial complex on 2007 – 2010 years and for the period up to 2015 of the year”, 1,5 billion rubles were laid to organize the serial production of helicopter engines in Russia.
The starting point was the TV3-117 motor, or rather its modification VK-2500. Initially, Klimov and Moscow Machine-Building Enterprise named after V.V. claimed the right to manufacture the engine. Chernyshev "(MMP named after V. Chernyshev). The administration of St. Petersburg supported countrymen and in 2007, signed an agreement of intent with them to build a new enterprise on the basis of Klimov. The planned annual output is around 200 helicopter engines.
But one thing is to declare the intention, the other is to bring it to life. At the beginning of 2008, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Energy, Viktor Khristenko, issued an order in which it was stated that the implementation of the decision on the creation of production was frustrated. An order was given to immediately take steps to speed up the organization of the production of these engines on the MMP named after V.V. Chernyshev In 2009, the general director of the United Engine Corporation, Andrei Reus, with his order brought the new player to the forefront - it was decided to concentrate the manufacture of VK-2500 on the basis of the Ufa Engine-Building Production Association (UMPO), where they intended to build a new plant.
Last fall in history With the engine VK-2500, intrigue was added by Sergey Shelepov, Deputy General Director of JSC Kazan Motor-Building Production Association (KMPO) for technical development. He stated that the company had entered into a contract with OAO Klimov for the production of engine nodes VK-2500. For the time being, the task of KMPO is to produce approximately 30 percent of the engine, plans to reach 50 percent, and then the final assembly of VK-2500.
At the end of 2012, Klimov reported on the launch of type tests of the first helicopter engine VK-2500, assembled on 100 percent from Russian components. It was announced on the planned 2013 year release 50 of such engines. It is planned to reach the design capacity (450 engines per year) by the 2015 year.
In itself, the desire not to depend in the engine-building industry on other countries, even the former Soviet republics, is understandable, especially if we take into account the instability and unpredictability of the situation in the world. But if to be really consistent in the matter of import substitution in the field of helicopter engine building (to gain independence from the Ukrainian industry), then why was it parallel to negotiate the purchase of French, Canadian, American engines? With Ukraine, with all the known problems, there are still more points of contact.
Moreover, Zaporozhye engine builders proposed to create joint ventures for the production of engines in Russia. The management of the company has repeatedly expressed its readiness to implement a set of measures that are guaranteed to ensure the serial production of motors in the required volumes and on time, regardless of the political situation in Ukraine.
It was proposed to produce a new modification of the engine - TV3-117ВМА-СБМ1В. According to the estimates of Motor Sich specialists, the installation of these turboshaft aircraft engines, created on the basis of the TB3-117ВМА-СБМ1 aircraft-borne turboprop engine, will allow the Mi-8 / 17 family of helicopters to have a greater payload of tonnes of helicopters, will increase the ceiling of the helicopters to increase the helicopter's speed on a 100-minute pattern. technical characteristics of the machine.
In addition, the motor has already been certified, and in Russia, having passed the tests at FSUE "CIAM im. P.I. Baranova ”, received positive conclusions (test reports of the engine). The results of barometric tests showed its steady operation to a height of 9.500 meters.
Motor Sich: a new strategy
Zaporozhye engine builders, not having received an answer to their proposals for cooperation, began to independently develop a development strategy for the medium term and more distant future. A revision of the engine type has been carried out, a plan has been drawn up for their modernization in order to build up a line of motors corresponding to world trends.
The next step was the revitalization of work on the helicopter theme. At Motor Sich, a design bureau and helicopter production have been created that are developing, designing, upgrading, repairing and re-motorizing helicopter equipment. In 2011, the company received a certificate issued by the State Aviation Service of Ukraine, according to which the joint-stock company is recognized as a developer of aviation equipment. In the same year, the Vinnitsa Aviation Plant (ViAZ LLC) became part of the company. He was reanimated to carry out major repairs, and later received certificates for the right to perform repair and rehabilitation works and maintenance for all types of aircraft being repaired.
Last month, the Department of Aviation of the Republic of Belarus issued a certificate of recognition of the certificate for the right to perform works in Belarus by AvAZ. Work is underway to obtain certificates from Russia and the Aviation Register of the Interstate Aviation Committee for the right to repair Ka-26, Mi-2 helicopters and other aircraft.
Last year, Motor Sich JSC bought 57 percent of shares of the Belarusian Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant OJSC. According to experts, it will be organized modernization of the Mi-8 helicopters.
According to independent observers, the niche for the development of the Ukrainian helicopter industry was provided, unwittingly, by the United Engine Corporation and Russian Helicopters. In pursuit of an increase in the production of new cars, they de facto ignored the interest of operators in the cost-effective and efficient modernization of an aging helicopter fleet. Russian Helicopters staked on the creation of new cars and the serial production of a new, modernized version of the Mi-172А2 with VK-2500 engines.
The fate of the previously released cars became interested only in terms of overhaul. And they took advantage of the situation in Motor Sich. In order to further improve the flight performance of already released helicopters, especially when operating in the high-altitude regions of countries with hot climates, the company created the TV3-117ВМА-СБМ1В engine, which has significantly increased resources compared to VK-2500.
Certification modifications of this engine, which received the designation TV3-117ВМА-СБМ1В 4 (with air start) and 4Е (with electric start) of the series, were performed. They are designed to remotorize Mi-8T helicopters in service, where the new engine will replace the discontinued TV2-117, which will improve the flight performance and operational characteristics of these machines.
As a result, a Mi-8MSB helicopter was created, equipped with TV3-117ВМА-СБМ1В 4Е motors. The first flight of the upgraded machine took place on November 10 2010 of the year.
At the stage of developing the basic concept of the new engine there was a lot of debate about which way to go for its fundamental improvement. Two launch options were considered - using an auxiliary power unit and electric starting.
Practice has shown that the second option is better. When it reduces the amount of work and time spent on preparing the helicopter for the flight. During the tests in the mountain-desert terrain (Republic of Tajikistan), the launch of engines at an altitude of more than 4.500 meters was performed from autonomous power sources in a minute and a half. In addition, the engine acceleration was reduced, and it goes from the low gas mode to the maximum in 7-8 seconds. His predecessor took it to 14. The car performed well on test flights at ambient temperature + 470С when shipping cargo in 12 tons.
Zaporozhye engine builders claim that the upgraded Mi-8T helicopter with a new engine receives operational life calculated for 10 – 16 years of operation. According to the doctor of technical sciences Vyacheslav Boguslaev, thanks to the extension of the resource, Ukraine can get 8 – 10 years to develop its own helicopter.
"Dvoechka" goes to honors
Zaporozhye manufacturers and Mi-2 did not remain without attention. Despite the high demand for these multi-purpose light helicopters, there is a tendency to a decrease in their fleet. The volume of operation "twos" fall as a result of the approach of machines to the boundaries of the established resources for the development of both years and calendar life.
Therefore, the issue of upgrading the Mi-2 helicopters has long been overdue. Moreover, western-made helicopters Augusta, Веll, Robinson, Eurocopter do not always satisfy the operators due to the high cost of their flight hour and a number of restrictions on operation.
It is no secret that in the Mi-2 fleet the main cause of accidents and disasters is the failure of the power plant. According to the operators, the upgrade of the “two” only makes sense when modern engines are installed on it instead of the obsolete, unreliable GTE-350, which have small numbers of designated, overhaul and not very economical resources.
Therefore, with the support of Motor Sich, the production activities of the Vinnitsa Aviation Plant were resumed and the X-NUMX overhaul of Mi-38 helicopters was completed. Today, in addition to repair work, this company is actively working on preparing for the modernization of the Mi-2MSB and MSB-2 profiles.
The modernization of the Mi-2 helicopter in the Mi-2MSB version includes, in particular, the replacement of GTD-350 engines with modern AI-450М engines made in Zaporizhia. It is noteworthy that Motor Sich also participates in a similar Russian project for the modernization of the Mi-2 in the Mi-2M variant.
The best argument is a record
Proving the advantages of one of the same type of helicopter over another can be long. The best argument is a world record. 19 May 2010 of the year in the Ukrainian city of Konotop at the Aviakon enterprise took place flight tests of the Mi-8MTV helicopter with TV3-117ВМА-СБМ1В engines. During the tests, the helicopter rose to a height of 8.100 meters in 13 minutes, setting a world record. Maximum horsepower 2.000 was maintained for 30 minutes.
Before that, on other tests on the Mi-24 with the TV3-117ВМА-СБМ1В engines, the rate of climb to the height of 5.000 meters in 9 minutes was shown. This means that a record vertical climb rate has been achieved in 2,5 times as high as the base case.
At the HeliRussia-2010 exhibition, a representative Russian delegation visited the Ukrainian stand, and one of its participants asked with irony: “Did the laws of thermodynamics be abolished in Ukraine?” But after getting the explanations, the mood was different. Representatives of the Russian Air Force directly at the exhibition made a proposal to conduct state tests of the TV3-117ВМА-СБМ1В engine in our country and immediately received consent. In addition, Zaporozhye engine builders have expressed willingness to take on part of the material and technical costs.
Tests fully confirmed the characteristics declared by the manufacturer. However, the creators of the motor propose to conduct another phase of testing with more stringent standards; they are ready to produce the engine at the Russian military aircraft repair factories, taking upon themselves tough warranty obligations. During the tests, he has already prepared a production site.
But back to the event, from which the article began. Not just a world record was established, but the scientific, design, technical and organizational potential of the helicopter industry of the neighboring country was demonstrated.
It's no secret that our manufacturers have relied on the Mi-38. The project is quite interesting, high-tech, but expensive and with a long perspective. The start of serial production of the machine is scheduled for 2015, but on condition that, for any reason, the supply of PW127TS engines to the Canadian company Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. is not blocked, as it happened in the fall of 2008 (in the interests of "political correctness" we will refrain from comments on the sincerity of conversations about the need for import substitution).
In August, the 2012 of the year at the XIV championship in helicopter sports on the Mi-38 set a world record in raising to the height of 8.620 meters. In addition, the record-breaking speed was set to 3.000 meters in 6 minutes and then to 6.000 meters in 10 minutes 52 seconds in the E-1h class (FAI category for helicopters with a take-off weight from 10 to 20 tons).
But these figures this year surpassed not just the "eight", but in fact the "grandmother toshka" (Mi-8T) with engines of a new modification. Yes, this is a helicopter of a different weight category, but we are talking about the potential and capabilities of the machines according to the criterion “efficiency - price”. In a word, Russian helicopter builders have something to think about ...