Light Austrian aircraft DA40, assembled in Russia, made its first flight. So far this is an aircraft for training, but the next step is the production of 9 – 19-local cars intended for local airlines. Competitors DA40 are a few more machines, which ultimately reduces the chances of success of each of these projects.
Ural Civil Plant aviation (Included in Oboronprom, a subsidiary of Rostec state corporation) launched the first light aircraft DA40, which are assembled under license from the Austrian Diamond Aircraft Industries. On Monday, he made his first flight. True, Rostec did not provide photographs of the new aircraft and its flight.
This is still a training aircraft for aviation institutes. Before 2017, it is planned to produce about 200 DA40 in Yekaterinburg, simultaneously importing some more 100 aircraft. In 2013 – 2014, the plant will supply Rosaviation 117 of such aircraft for pilot training, and aviation universities in 2014 – 2016 will receive a total of 195 DA40.
The second step
The most important thing is that further Rostec and Austrians intend to start production of completely new Diamond planes of various modifications with a capacity of 9 – 19 passengers. The corresponding agreement, as the newspaper VIEW, wrote, was signed in June of this year. These aircraft will be designed for local airlines for flights over distances of 400 – 1000 km.
It is planned to certify a new lightweight multi-purpose aircraft and begin its serial assembly in Russia by the end of 2017. The Austrian company's general director, Christian Dries, also expressed a willingness to "produce airplanes not only with wheeled landing gear, but also on floats and skis to operate airplanes on ice and snow fields, as well as in the waters."
The Ministry of Industry and Trade estimates Russia's need for such light aircraft in 600 units up to 2020 of the year.
At the same time, the agency has already announced a competition for the production of 9- and 19-local aircraft for regional aviation. Rostec enterprises do not participate in the competition, as such research is carried out by industry research institutes. However, this competition is directly related to the project Rostec and DAI.
“The results of the research of technologies and conditions for the creation of promising regional and local air transport systems will be used in the work on technical requirements for Daimond aircraft, which will be produced in Russia. At the moment, Rostec, together with DAI, has already begun work on the technical documentation and business plan for this project, ”said a representative of the Goskoratsii Gazeta newspaper.
Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade, set the conditions for the maximum localization of Austrian aircraft production in Russia - by 100% by 2016. This requirement, he said, applies to the production of engines, avionics and electronics, especially for the needs of the Russian Defense Ministry.
At the same time, Manturov believes that in the conditions of the Ural Civil Aviation Plant, the localization of production and repair of engines will not be difficult, since the main profile of the enterprise is the repair of aircraft engines.
In Rostec, VIEW newspaper noted that they plan deep localization, but they do not exclude that there will be a part of imported components. “Airplanes will be assembled and manufactured in Russia, and, based on economic and technical feasibility, components will be localized,” said a representative of the corporation.
However, industry expert THEM "FINAM" Alexei Zakharov doubts that Rostec and Dianomd will be able to fulfill the requirement of the Ministry of Industry and Trade for 100% localization of aircraft production.
“Some types of equipment our industry has actually forgotten how to do. And if it does, then at a very high price. To hope that in two years this gap will be bridged, naive. The automotive industry had the same requirements, but not all companies fulfill them - it is not profitable for them. In aviation, serial production is much smaller, and the organization of component production in Russia makes even less sense, ”explains Alexei Zakharov.
“Rostec, even with the Austrians, will not solve this problem, if only because Diamond is a relatively small assembly plant that buys components extensively and therefore does not have the technology to produce them. "Forcing" the Austrians to create a plane for cooperation only with domestic subcontractors is possible, only at the price such aircraft would be unacceptable for the poor, to put it mildly, Russian carriers operating on local lines, "the VZGLYAD newspaper interlocutor believes.
The Russian government in the framework of the regional aviation development program sets the tasks for the revival of small aircraft. In Russia, in parallel, many competing aircraft are being developed.
The Russian multi-purpose twin-engine Rysachok in the 16 and 19 versions can become a direct competitor to the new Austrian Diamond aircraft. This is a project of Moscow Tekhnoavia and Samara plant TsSKB-Progress.
“We are now engaged in certification of“ Rysachka ”. This is a long and tedious job. We are planning to complete it next year, ”says Tekhnoavia’s CEO and chief designer Vyacheslav Kondratyev to the VIEW newspaper. Messages in the media that the Defense Ministry plans to conduct tests of “Rysachka” by the end of the year, he called “duck”.
However, work with the Ministry of Defense is still underway. “The Ministry of Defense has prepared a technical task for a special version of this aircraft. It will be very different from what we now have, primarily in the composition of the equipment. This is a big and difficult, but interesting job - to make an airplane that will fit the TK of the Ministry of Defense. They need a search and rescue, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. It’s hard to say how long it will take to build an aircraft according to the technical specifications of the department, because it contains the creation of a large number of such systems that do not yet exist in nature. Analogs of such planes exist abroad, but nobody has done this before, ”Kondratiev says, refusing to reveal the details of this military project.
As for the now existing "Rysachkov", many customers are interested in this aircraft. “However, they say: when there is a certificate, then the order will appear. But we are planning to create our own airline for Rysachok planes. When - it is difficult to say, because no one helps. But Daimond and those who support them consider us their competitors and do not compete very well, ”Kondratiev says.
Last year, the Russian government decided that the modernization of the An-2 could be a temporary solution for small aircraft. Both Ukraine and Russia are engaged in this project simultaneously, and separately from each other. The Ukrainian state-owned factory Antonov created the An-2-100, which, unlike the An-2, has a new MC-14 engine developed by the Ukrainian Motor-Sich. This engine runs on jet fuel, which increases the profitability of the new modification, representative of Antonova tells the newspaper VIEW. The first flight of An-2-100 has already made in July of this year.
At the same time, “Antonov” in August agreed with the Ulyanovsk region to use the production facilities of Aviaservis (included in “Aviastar-SP”). Also, the Ukrainian state-owned enterprise has already received orders from Russia, Azerbaijan and Cuba for the supply of a modernized version of the famous "corncob", it was reported in the summer. The company itself confirms the signing of a production agreement for the conversion of the Cuban An-2 fleet (at one time there were about 140 such aircraft in the country) into a new modification of the An-2-100 with the Motor Sich engine.
In turn, Russia separately is also engaged in the modernization of the An-2. Equipping repaired in Russia, the legendary "maize" An-2MS planned American turboprop engines TRE331 company Honeywell. The Chaplygin Siberian Research Institute of Aviation is engaged in this project. Last year he signed an agreement with the Americans on the supply of these power units to Russia. SibNIA did not exclude the purchase of a license for the production of these engines in Russia, with subsequent localization.
At the same time, SibNIA claimed that the airlines are ready to convert the An-260 2 aircraft, and the total demand is twice as high. The total fleet of "corncob" in Russia is 2100 aircraft, of which only 370 is flying. The test flight of the engineered An-2MS was carried out as early as 2012. How is the situation with the project now, it was not possible to find out in SibNIA.
In spring, SibNIA insisted that customers had lined up on An-2MS, the order book for April 2013 of the year totaled the 63 of the aircraft. In addition, there are proposals to modernize the "Annushka" from China, Kazakhstan and other Soviet republics.
However, in both cases, the new An-2 modifications have not yet been certified. In July, 2014 plans to complete these works in Ukraine, in particular.
Everywhere there are problems
No one can say who will shoot in the end and present a really affordable small aircraft for local airlines. In all three cases, there are problems, says Alexei Zakharov.
“The Austrians have no experience creating airplanes with a capacity of more than five seats. You can cite the example of the Czech company Evector. She built and sold about a thousand light sport aircraft. But the EV-55Outback, which is also “wooed” for production in Russia, is still in an incomprehensible state. As if the joint project with Diamond failed the same, ”the expert argues.
"Trotter" was spoiled at the stage of drawing up a technical task. The Russian government customer presented a set of mutually exclusive requirements to the car, and then completely refused to finance the program, putting the developer and manufacturer in a difficult position. Now Kondratieff team is trying to adjust the project to save the car. However, I am not sure that as a result, “Rysachok” will be competitive - too much was spoiled in it from the very beginning, ”says Alexei Zakharov.
“The extension of the life of An-2 is nothing more than an advertising slogan. The fact is that the “source” An-2 does not have a certificate. So far the question is who will produce certification and who will finance it. With all due respect to the specialists of SibNIIA, I do not think that they can do a full range of certification work. Another problem is the position of Antonov Design Bureau. They have their own project for the remotorization of An-2 for theaters, and they are unlikely to be pleased with the Russian initiative, ”says Alexei Zakharov.
The expert regrets that the Russian leadership is taking a “vague” position in the matter of creating an aircraft of local airlines. He recalls that, in addition to the three projects already mentioned, there is also an EV-55 Outback project and plans to produce a DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft in the Russian Federation. At the same time, the Ministry of Industry and Trade supports the Kazan (MVEN company) project of an 19-local aircraft, and in the Volga region they choose between Pilatus PC-12 and M-101Т "Gzhel", plus "enthusiasts" are trying to revive T-101 "Grach".
“Instead of deciding which aircraft we really need, and seriously dealing with them, we are dispersing our forces and means,” summarizes Alexei Zakharov.