The main trouble of our North is the almost complete absence of all-season communications. How to solve this problem, the “Military-Industrial Courier” was told by the designer, Doctor of Technical Sciences Vladimir Bukovsky.
Many people in the north, both ours and those of others, drew attention to the key difference in the psychology of the inhabitants of Alaska and Chukotka. In Anadyr and Lavrentia, the majority of the population arrived for a short time, to make some money and return to the mainland. And nothing, that already the third and fourth generation of northerners is growing - the thesis “we are not here forever” is written in the subconscious. Alaska was mastered by those who went to live there. The difference in approaches was key. We have everything temporary, on a live thread. Americans settle in comfort worthy of Seattle and New York. They live in comfortable private houses, acquire small planes, even build cottages along tundra streams.
–Teasers and local residents - two fundamentally different approaches to the development of the northern territories ...
- While the bet is placed on temporary workers, unfortunately. The territories rich in resources, once inhabited, are now being developed on a rotational basis, often from near and even far abroad. This is largely due to the degradation of the transport system of the regions.
The planes of local airlines have developed their life, airfields are in desolation, there are no modern analogues of An-2, the cost of helicopters is so high that flights are inaccessible to the average citizen, and the safety of their operation is a matter of concern. Inland waterways are no longer able to provide even the reduced need of the population for transportation due to the termination of clearing of once navigable rivers, as well as due to the physical aging of ships and the decline of coastal infrastructure. Lack of supply of essential goods, full medical care, educational institutions and workplaces, separation from truly cultural values are pushing the working-age population of the outback to move to large cities.
It is especially important to ensure year-round transportation in regions with an underdeveloped transport structure. Here it is an economic, social and political problem. Restoring traditional transportation systems in the form of local airlines and fleet is an expensive and time-consuming process. Even with super-powers of power, the result will manifest itself not earlier than in five to ten years. Transport problems are trying to solve, as they can, with the help of local administrations, small private companies. But they have an extremely small set of opportunities and a limited financial resource.
- How realistic is it to return those opportunities when people in Siberia and in the north easily moved by water and air over 50 – 100 kilometers, could fly to the regional center for everyday affairs, to the doctor or even to the exhibition and return home the same day?
–Amphibious vehicles were successfully produced by teams headed by Tupolev, Bartini, Beriev, Alekseev, Koronatov. Amphibians that have achieved unsurpassed characteristics have been built and massively exploited. They were used everywhere - from mail delivery in villages to the landing of large amphibious units, they threatened to become "aircraft carrier killers." But all this is in the past. We need new things.
Over the years 16 we explored the capabilities of amphibious vehicles - WIG, hovercraft (SVP), on the cavity, with aerodynamic unloading, aerobot and others. And now we offer high-speed amphibious transport. There are no analogues to it in the world. And this is not just a means of transportation, but the whole system, an amphibious transport complex (ATK). Self-contained combination of high-speed vehicles and local infrastructure.
–What are these amphibians?
–High-speed amphibians (ICA) can perform five different types of movement:
- sailing, as an ordinary displacement vessel;
-glissing, as a high-speed vessel, partially coming out of the water;
-contact-contactless mode (BCF), being in a water-air emulsion;
-contactless mode (on the screen and off-screen to a height of 150 m);
- snowmobile mode (on ice, snow, swamp, tundra).
The choice of a specific type is carried out by the crew based on the flight objectives and traffic conditions. We have already developed, built and operated in Yakutia, the vehicles VSA-7, capable of carrying up to 24 passengers at speeds up to 250 kilometers per hour. Developed and built VSA other dimensions with a capacity of 10 and 90 passengers.
–The question is: is your child able to replace airplanes and helicopters?
- BCA is no better and no worse than traditional aviation devices. They are different. It is appropriate here to recall the outstanding aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky, who, when asked whether helicopters will replace airplanes, answered: “A helicopter will never replace an airplane, but it will do what an airplane will never do”. Although some comparison is still possible. The BCA-7 has comparable capabilities with the Mi-8 helicopters. The volumes of cargo cabins, carrying capacity (passenger capacity), speed, tasks, regions of application - these positions are close in their values. However, the operational parameters of our machine have features:
-the safety of passengers and crew of the ICA is incomparably higher;
- at cost - 25 – 30% Mi-8;
- on fuel consumption - 10 – 12%;
- at the cost of maintenance - about 20%.
In addition, the exclusion of the ICA from commercial operation for several months for scheduled repairs in the factory is excluded.
–You said it is not only about creating a new vehicle, but about the whole system based on it.
–We have developed a strategy for locating and operating ATCs nationwide. The bottom line is this. On the banks of the meridional rivers and their tributaries, as well as along the Amur River, near the settlements, ATK strong points are established. The same - along the entire coast along the Northern Sea Route. The places of installation of the support points and the distance between them are determined by the location of the settlements, the configuration of the coast, and the radius of action of the ICA used.
Thus, the territory of the country will be connected by an all-season transport network. Moreover, ATK strongholds are interconnected by local information networks to provide navigation and dispatching. The development of transport based on the Armed Forces will give impetus to other types of transport - automobile, aviation, the fleet.
As in the past, starting from the XIII century, postal stations and inns provided the transport accessibility of the vast territory of Russia, and now it is realistic to cover all remote regions with ATK strongholds. Initially, neither roads, nor airfields, nor ports are needed - they will appear gradually, as these or other areas develop. The network of strongholds of the ICA is developed separately for a specific region, taking into account the maximum possible number of factors (geological, geographical, climatic, demographic, interaction with other modes of transport). So at the new level will continue история "Station rangers."
–What do “end users” think about this? And most importantly - what are they doing?
–There is “The concept of creating a high-speed cargo and passenger transport line of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) for 2012 – 2014 years”. In pursuance of this document, the “Agreement on cooperation and joint activities to create a high-speed fleet (ICA)” was signed. A step-by-step action plan for the creation of a high-speed fleet of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) for 2012 – 2016 was formed and approved by the Minister of Transport and Road Management of the region. In addition, proposals have been developed for the use of ICA in various regions of the Russian Federation (Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Azov-Black Sea basin, the Caspian Sea).
“But the infrastructure of the transport complexes you offer also needs to be created, which will require both time and money.
–All elements of the proposed ATK are made on a single technological basis from a specially developed composite material. Even with compartments and cavities filled with water, ATK elements retain positive buoyancy. This material has another important property - low thermal conductivity, comfortable temperature for staff and passengers is maintained for a long time without the inclusion of air conditioning systems. When creating a composite, issues of reliability, lightness, hygroscopicity and hydrophobicity were solved. The strength characteristics of the material are confirmed by tests at the Krylov Research Center.
The structure of the ATK includes floating moorings in several versions, office premises for various purposes, as well as shelters for the ICA. Berths and modular premises are made on a single project, they can be assembled on site by hand.
ATK is based in any place necessary for the operator, and is always ready for redeployment. The simplicity of the design makes it possible to operate the ICA without fail throughout the entire life cycle without costly and long overhaul. The year-round navigation of the BCA will alleviate the problem of the northern delivery, it will simply cease to be necessary.
The price of an amphibious transport complex in the basic configuration with the preparation of the required number of crews and technicians corresponds to about a third of the cost of one Mi-8 class helicopter. Available calculations show that investment in the construction of a batch production plant with a capacity from 20 to 50 complexes per year will pay off within six years.
–So the VSA themselves are worth something and must be made somewhere ...
–The operation of both individual ICA and ATK as a whole is assumed within the Scientific and Production Transport Complex (NPTK). These are organizationally and financially united enterprises (design bureaus, pilot and serial plants) and transport companies that interact on an ongoing basis with the goal of the most effective and safe work throughout the entire life cycle of the ICA from creation to disposal. Organizational interaction (within the NDFC) of industrial and transport enterprises will allow us to constantly improve personnel training, improve the design, quickly eliminate its shortcomings, restore damaged vehicles, and optimize costs. The issues of traffic and safety management are already being worked out and partially tested by us.
The technology allows you to place environmentally friendly company anywhere. Preliminary work has already been done on the design of new generation plants for both pilot production and serial production of VSA. They can even be located on a completely uninhabited territory. Thus, both the ATK strongholds and such small plants, united in the NPTK, will become the bases of the new settlements. Moreover, the developed structural material is suitable for the construction of prefabricated buildings for various purposes.
In fact, we propose to form in our country (the first in the world!) A new type of transport - a high-speed amphibious fleet and, accordingly, legalize the emerging industry. The formation of such a fleet is comparable in importance to a breakthrough into space. Work is already underway on the design of VSA with a carrying capacity of up to 300 tons. This will provide an opportunity to create sea and ocean transport systems.
- What prevents to realize plans?
–As it turned out, the resources of private companies and even individual subjects of the Russian Federation are insufficient. Efforts are national scale.
High-speed amphibious (ekranoplanny) transport and therefore ekranoplanostroenie as an industry actually already exist. However, this is not fixed by law, which in a bureaucratic state is tantamount to a complete ban. The initiative of enthusiasts, endorsed in words, comes up against a hidden, and sometimes even a clear opposition. Moreover, the regulatory and legal framework for the design, construction and operation of the ICA is absent. To legitimize a new type of transport, it is necessary to develop, coordinate, approve and put into effect several dozen documents at various levels of government - regional, sectoral and federal. A list of priority regulatory documents developed. However, all initiatives stall in government. The Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation does not even have promising programs for the development of high-speed amphibious (ekranoplan) transport.
“But someone is above the bureaucrats — one of those who can make decisions?”
–The problems were discussed at a fairly high level. October 24 The 2014 of the year saw a meeting of the Expert Council under the State Duma Committee on Industry on the theme “Development of the production of civil aircraft and civilian military in the Russian Federation. Legislative support ”, which was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, developers and manufacturers of amphibious technology, universities and research institutes. As a result, a resolution was adopted proposing practical actions, and a working group was established to prepare draft legislative acts. Subsequently, State Duma decisions were prepared on the legislative consolidation of high-speed amphibious transport, which passed three independent examinations. The meeting with the same agenda was included in the business program of the International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky. Representatives of federal legislative and executive bodies, the scientific community, enterprises of the aviation and shipbuilding industries, and public and trade union organizations participated.
There is a unique situation. There are high-speed amphibians (ICA), there is an opportunity to ensure with their help the transport accessibility of remote regions. Companies are ready to invest in the creation of the route network, the regional authorities agree to place on their territory an innovative product that can significantly change the quality of the environment ... But there is no regulatory framework for the use of ICA, which makes their operation illegal.
And there is no practical action by the executive branch. Moreover, for five years, the government does not accept the “Concept for the development of civil and military WIG in the Russian Federation”. Now she continues her drift in the offices of the domineering bureaucracy.