The date noted modestly. The anniversary hero did not receive any high state awards relying in such cases. The media also did not pay special attention to the creator of combat helicopters. But Mikheev is the only General Designer of helicopters in today's Russia.
The authority of the generals and their status is today trying to raise to the highest level. And if we talk about C.V. Mikheyev, he would have given him, as a general designer, as early as the nineties of the twentieth century, complete freedom of action and adequate funding, then today it was Russia that would dictate fashion and demand in the global helicopter market.
Sergey Viktorovich was born on December 22, 1938 in Khabarovsk. Early childhood and school were held in the Far East and the Far North. He graduated from the school in Anadyr in 1956. In the House of Pioneers carried away by aircraft modeling. In those days, in remote places of the USSR it was possible to navigate, mainly with the help of aviation, and, since Mikheev’s father was transferred on official business several times, they had to fly enough in childhood. And Sergey firmly decided to become an aircraft designer.
Already admission to the institute showed that adult life would not be easy, but the young Mikheyev understood that it was possible to break any inertia and break through any bureaucracy.
The MAI refused to accept documents from him, stating that there are no places in the dormitory, and in general, graduates of northern schools need references that they really came from distant lands, and not from near Moscow suburbs. Sergei did not despair and went to the ... Central Committee. The queue had to be occupied at three in the morning, as thousands of people daily came to the reception office of the highest party structure with complaints. Mikheev was accepted, listened attentively, and immediately called the Ministry of Education and the institute's admission committee. The call from the Central Committee itself solved the problem right away - they took the documents, although the hostel was never given. So, by the way: after all, there was, where to complain in those days even to yesterday’s schoolchildren to be heard ...
He passed the entrance exams easily because he studied very well. The competition in MAI in 1956 was 8 people in place, but the points scored was enough for enrollment.
Helicopters Sergey Mikheev became interested in the last courses of the institute. The graduation project was written on a heavy four-screw crane crane. He defended in the OKB, which was supervised by N.I. Kamov, he personally attended the defense. At the same time, the oldest Soviet designer of helicopters drew attention to a talented graduate of the Moscow Aviation Institute: Mikheev was taken to the OKB without any problems, and he immediately plunged into an interesting job. Moreover, soon the young specialist received a separate apartment, as he was still married at the institute, and his wife also came to work at the OKB, located in the Ukhtomskaya platform area, right behind the Moscow Ring Road. Fifty years ago it was in the order of things: the design office gave its employees an apartment.
Relations with N.I. Kamov evolved differently: from the most trusting to the almost hostile. Still, Kamov valued his sometimes overly active designer. After the death of the founder of the OKB, who was given the name of Kamov, the new leader was chosen for a long time. In those years, the selection was multistage, and the Ministry of Aviation Industry, the military-industrial commission, and the defense department of the Central Committee of the CPSU participated in it.
At the end of the year 1973, in years 35, S.V. Mikheev was appointed chief designer of the NI IKB Design Bureau. Kamov and, simultaneously, the director of the Ukhtomsky helicopter plant. The youngest leader of this level in the Soviet Union.
However, Alexey Shakhurin became People's Commissar of the aviation industry in January 1940, in incomplete 36 years.
In the eighties, the OKB, which Mikheyev managed, by objective creative ideas and realized projects became the world's leading. Someone in the USSR didn't like it very much. After all, there was a clear structure: almost the entire fleet of helicopters in the country are the cars created at the ML. A mile, and a very narrow sea niche was assigned to "Kamovtsy". And here it turns out that in the NI I.V. Kamovs can create the whole range of helicopters: combat and civilian, capable of equally effective work on the ground and on the water. Intrigued against the "Kamovtsev" throughout the eighties, very active and sophisticated.
However, in the nineties the team under the leadership of Mikheev broke at the peak of his creative rise. It seemed that for them insoluble problems did not exist. But you had to pay for any work. And what could you pay when the young reformers began to steer the country? Someone then got it all, and someone - nothing.
Abramovich, as we know, actually got a multi-billion state, and will remain in stories as the owner of freebie wealth, chic palaces, foreign football clubs, pathetic personal yachts. Get the same money Mikheev - and our state would go down in history as the birthplace of the most breakthrough rotary wing of the new century. But the history cannot be reversed, so we simply recall those machines that, with the most active participation of Sergey Mikheev, were introduced or attempted to introduce the past forty years - this person guided the creation of coaxial machines for so long.
Now the helicopter builders around the world are faced with the choice of the concept of a new generation of helicopters. They must be super-maneuverable, really high-speed, long-lived and have significant carrying capacity. Only coaxial scheme of rigid rotors can provide such characteristics to the full. These are the laws of aerodynamics.
The coaxial helicopter scheme was once drawn by Leonardo da Vinci. However, it turned out to be so technologically difficult to implement it in practice that only Soviet specialists managed to do it, and this was because the state took on huge financial costs. It is all the more surprising and unnatural that within the country the expansion of the scope of use of coaxial helicopters was administratively slowed down - and this with a lot of financial support, I repeat.
Coaxial machines were assigned the modest role of helicopters capable of being based on ships. There was one national economy - Ka-26, which worked in agriculture and was even "in service" with the traffic police. This helicopter was very much loved, but he also adhered in mass production. All, so to speak, state sympathies were given to classic helicopters, which were designed in the design bureaus, which were headed by M.L. Miles
By the way, in the history of Ka-26 there are little-known, but significant facts. In the USSR, this aircraft aviation workers "crushed" as they could. There was one argument: a low-powered piston engine was installed on the helicopter. But then we had no others! Despite the “backwardness”, in 1970, the Ka-26 became the first domestic helicopter to receive the FAR-29 type certificate according to American airworthiness standards. And remained the first 25 years.
Ka-26 was delivered to the USA, Germany, Sweden, Japan, all countries of the socialist community. Total was released 816 ka-26 rotary wings. In the 1976 year, in spite of the huge market demand, the Ka-26 series production was stopped by policy.
The Design Bureau independently carried out the modernization of the machine, installed a gas turbine engine on it. But in our country there was no place for a new helicopter. In 1984, an intergovernmental agreement was signed between the USSR and Romania on the organization of mass production of helicopters with a gas turbine engine Ka-126 at an airline in the city of Brasov. By the 1991, fourteen Ka-126 helicopters were built, the characteristics of which at that time were excellent.
With the collapse of the USSR, the production of the best in the world in its class of light helicopters ceased. Romanians were unable to support high aviation technology without the help of our specialists. And our own sat on a hungry ration.
In early September, the test pilot Vladimir Lavrov 1997 for the first time lifted into the air the Ka-226, created with the most active participation of Sergei Mikheev. It was the Russian and very successful implementation of the ideas laid in the “Soviet-Romanian” Ka-126. The helicopter took place thanks to the active support of the Emergencies Ministry, which was then led by SK. Shoigu. Probably it was no coincidence that the “Seryoga” was written on board the first Ka-226. In honor of whom, Sergei Mikheev or Sergei Shoigu, remained a trade secret. By the way, S. Mikheev became the first in the domestic aviation industry chief who began to give his cars their proper names.
After the collapse of the country, the aviation industry of the former USSR was in a critical situation. The only place where our country has maintained leadership has been helicopter construction for a long time. Unfortunately, it was not possible to take advantage of the world priority and saturate the market with the fastest and most lifting helicopters, which would be out of competition. Moreover, in the nineties, the Kamov firm, where they only knew how to make coaxial machines, had every chance to go bankrupt and go down in history forever. It survived only because its president and, most importantly, the General Designer in the most difficult period for the country and the industry was Sergey Viktorovich.
Back in the early seventies, the design bureau, which was then led by Nikolai Ilyich Kamov, was ready to begin designing the Ka-35D helicopter, capable of carrying people up to 100 at a speed of 500 km / h. The serial production of an unusual machine even today could really start in the 1980 year. Next, it was planned to create a rotary-wing aircraft, which could already carry 200 people at speeds of 600 km / hour. These were not some fantasies, but well-founded and well-calculated projects. Did not work out.
But they managed to create the most powerful attack helicopter in the world, work on which began in the 1977 year - Ka-50.
In this "flying tank»For the first time in the domestic aircraft industry, composite materials, metal-plastic bearings, and many other technological know-how were widely used. He was and remains the only single-seat combat helicopter in the world. He was given an unusual name - "Black Shark". The car with its profile really looks like a sea predator. The name turned out to be successful, and the idea itself was very attractive - from the beginning of the nineties, they tried to assign proper names to all new models of military equipment.
Ka-50 has become a breakthrough project in everything. But the generals of the Air Force, who determined the appearance of the helicopters of the future for army aviation, turned out to be retrograde, to say the least. True, in the nineties there were rumors that the generals simply "bought." I wonder who? Whatever it was, but the “Black Shark” was really “drowned” using an administrative resource. The main "flaw" Ka-50 announced that the helicopter was piloted by one person. This generals saw a big disadvantage. But, according to many, the future is for robotic combat complexes.
On Ka-50 it was possible and necessary to work out the maximum automation of machine control, as well as what is now called network-centrism. The “black shark” allowed the pilot to see on the screen of the onboard display the whole group of helicopters solving a combat task, exchange information with them and, if necessary, control the group. There were no analogues not only in Russia, but also in the USA. Ka-50, by the decision of President Boris Yeltsin, was adopted in 1995 year. But even the all-powerful "Tsar Boris" was powerless against the "helicopter mafia", safely preserved and migrated from the USSR to the Russian Federation. The menacing and accepted into service "Black Shark" never arrived. They began to deliver the Mi-28H "Night Hunter", which had neither the on-board radar, nor the normal night vision systems, and it was only adopted at the end of last year.
"Kamovtsev" forced to make double Ka-52. The team, led by Sergei Mikheev, and brilliantly coped with this task. Stop progress impossible. And the troops finally get a beautiful Ka-52 "Alligator" - it has radars, active defense complexes, great avionics, and powerful weapons, capable of working in the network-centric control system of the air and ground battlefield. This is the best combat helicopter in the world. Although the single "shark" was faster ...
A ship version of the Ka-52K, which will be based on the Russian Mistrals, is currently being created.
The French, having got acquainted even with the land variant of the "Alligator", fell into despondency: their ship helicopters turned out to be much worse.
The past twenty years, the firm Kamov, which until recently was solely managed by Sergei Mikheev, at each air show, MAKS showed either new helicopters or new concepts. Seven years ago - how fast time flies! - At MAKS-2007, a concept project for high-speed Ka-92 was presented. It was a breakthrough in the world of helicopter. At MAX-2009, an even more original and promising concept was shown - Ka-102.
What are these cars? The Ka-92 could reach speeds of 450 km / h, fly a distance of almost 1500 kilometers and carry about thirty people. In fact, it was an improved version of the An-2, which did not require an airfield. Ka-102 was supposed to fly the same distance, but at a speed of 500 km / h and carry up to ninety passengers. These were breakthrough and, most importantly, technically calculated projects. It took about ten years to implement them. That is, if state officials had decided on priorities, then, having launched two projects in 2010, Russia would have two best helicopters in the world in 2020. If they had launched in 2007, in three or four years, our country would have dominated the global helicopter market. Who would need low-speed helicopters if there are “airplanes” capable of landing on a penny? But - if, yes, if only ...
In 2007, the company created the holding “Helicopters of Russia”, to which they transferred the assets of all helicopter-building companies. By the end of 2010, the holding consolidated controlling stakes in all domestic helicopter plants and design offices. Hero of Russia, academician, laureate of the Lenin and State Prize of Russia Sergey Viktorovich Mikheyev became, one can say, the “wedding general designer” of either all the “Helicopters of Russia” or the remnants of the Kamov company. Of course, they listen to his opinion, but the parade is now commanded by completely different people from the category of “successful” top managers.
At the Helirash 2013 helicopter cabin, I needed technical advice. On the site of "Helicopters of Russia" crowded a lot of young and very active people with the badges of the holding. All of them turned out to be managers of different levels of significance and zero technical competence. New, “creative managers” of the helicopter industry in Russia, without understanding their priorities, launched a project with the English abbreviation “RACHEL”, which means “Russian promising commercial helicopter”. In Russian it is even simpler: PSV - “Promising high-speed helicopter”.
It's no secret that some very obscure replacement of the classic Mi-8 / 17 helicopters with more modern ones is planned. Naturally, all commercial priorities - intellectual remnants of the company "Mil." As a flying laboratory for a high-speed helicopter, it is planned to use the Mi-24, which is known in the army under the unofficial name Crocodile, including for its mobility.
The specified characteristics of the PSV are as follows: passenger capacity - 23 person, flight range - 900 km, cruising speed - 360 km / h. The works must be completed by 2020 year, the price of the project 4 billion rubles. Compare this with the calculated Ka-92 and Ka-102 characteristics ...
It makes no sense to oppose the two helicopter companies - Milevskaya and Kamovskaya. It was once, in Soviet, non-market times, Mikhail Leontyevich and Nikolai Ilyich competed keenly, creating the best products. Back in the eighties of the twentieth century, left without a really General Designer, the company that bore the name of its founder Mile completely lost the intellectual competition to the company that bore the name of Kamov, which was led by the Soviet General Designer Sergey Viktorovich Mikheev. And today there are only generalized "Helicopters of Russia" ...
At one of the Internet forums it was recently said: in comparison with the managers of this holding, managers of the United Aircraft Building Corporation - geniuses. I will not argue. In the KLA, I personally met only competent people, even among managers. And in the "Russian Helicopters", alas ...
Sergey Viktorovich Mikheev - Professor of MAI, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Hero of Russia, laureate of the most prestigious awards. Awards and titles are not offended. His professional authority is recognized worldwide.
Question one: why doesn’t he, the General Designer, determine the future of the Russian helicopter industry?
And why then is the whole pathos about raising the authority of the general designers? The answer is no, and in this particular case, it seems, will not.