The past IX international exhibition of the helicopter industry HeliRussia 2016 has become a landmark event not only for the domestic helicopter industry. Russian experts, paraphrasing a well-known proverb, say: "They feed the year for three days of the exhibition." Many events held at HeliRussia become a kind of a “road map”, which identifies development directions and a number of nuances that are important for the global helicopter industry.
SANCTIONS OF POPULATION
2016 companies took part in HeliRussia 219, among them 45 foreign from 16 countries, including Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, USA and France, although their governments imposed sanctions on Russia. The exhibition was attended by almost all the major foreign global helicopter industry brands: Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopter, Leonardo Helicopters (formerly AgustaWestland), Robinson Helicopter, Safran Helicopter Engines (formerly Turbomeca).
According to experts, in the 2015 year, the global supply of foreign-made civilian helicopters fell by 4,4%. Against this background, the prospects for foreign helicopter companies in Russia look very optimistic.
For example, Robinson Helicopter and Airbus Helicopters have already sold almost 500 machines to Russia. In addition, there are several dozen Bell and Leonardo Helicopters helicopters operating in our country.
Foreign companies make full use of any opportunity to expand and strengthen their positions in the Russian market. Not so long ago, they got a new access to it, provided by JSC Ural Civil Plant aviation"(UZGA). The plant concluded a number of contracts on the local assembly of foreign-made helicopters.
The main attraction of such a deal for a foreign manufacturer is that imported ready-made helicopters are subject to import duty at 15,7%, and when importing sets for screwdriver assembly, the entire 3 – 5% duty.
In 2015, the assembly of Bell-407GXP began at UZGA, and a contract was also being implemented to localize the production (the so-called screwdriver assembly) of the Bell-505 lightweight single-engine gas turbine helicopter.
The first two Bell-407GXP delivered to the Omsk Flight Technical College of Civil Aviation. A.V. Lyapidevsky (branch of FSBEI HPE Ulyanovsk Higher Aviation School of Civil Aviation). This will make it possible to prepare aviation personnel and make the operation of Bell helicopters more attractive for Russian consumers.
UZGA entered into an agreement with the Airbus Helicopters on the licensed assembly of light twin-engine H135 helicopters (former designation - EC135 T3 / P3). The first batch of four cars is scheduled for release in 2017 year. In total, in the next 10 years at the plant it is planned to assemble about 160 helicopters H135.
The global goal of the Russian helicopter industry is to occupy the 20% of the market by the year 2020. Therefore, at first glance, a paradoxical situation has developed: UZGA JSC creates favorable conditions for competitors of Russian Helicopters JSC. This is despite the fact that the holding itself is promoting Leonardo Helicopters helicopters to the domestic market. The whole piquancy of the situation is that both firms are part of the state corporation Oboronprom and are aimed at the development of domestic helicopter building.
WORD AND DEED
A few years ago, the management of the Russian Helicopters holding holding a large number of media representatives annually on the first day of the HeliRussia exhibition in one of the conference halls talked about their plans. As from a horn of plenty, the figures of planned output volumes were falling, profits, and projectors about the future model range were voiced.
Now such an event is held on the eve of the exhibition without a special pump, and the press service of the holding does not even bother to provide background information and statistics for the past period on the activities of Russian Helicopters.
It is understandable, there are no special achievements, and the declared plan has not been fully implemented. In such a situation, silence is gold. For example, the project of the light helicopter Mi-34 was in the role of prima at several exhibitions HeliRussia and presented as the main competitor of the Robinson helicopters. It was stated that, according to preliminary estimates of the holding, by 2016, the production volume of Mi-34 helicopters with gas turbine and piston engines should be 400 units.
Currently, the management of the holding, speaking of the suspension of the project, assures that there is no demand for a model of this class. And hundreds of cars sold on the Russian market by the Robinson Helicopter firm testify to the opposite.
Another failed project is a promising high-speed helicopter (PSV). For several years he was the core of the advertising holding. For the first time, the PSV program was sketched at the HeliRussia 2008 exhibition. Subsequently, not only the leaders of the holding company “Helicopters of Russia”, “Oboronprom”, but also the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov liked to comment on him. At HeliRussia 2012, he stated that by the 2016, the first prototype should be built for certification tests, and with the 2018, it is planned to begin production of the helicopter. To date, the project, to put it mildly, has been reformatted, but for the average person they have left the abbreviation PSV.
On the eve of the exhibition HeliRussia 2016 at a meeting with journalists, Deputy General Director of JSC "Helicopters of Russia" for the production and innovation Andrei Shibitov did not answer the question of how much money was spent on the PSV project, and according to available data, at least several billion rubles were spent in total. No explanation was given as to why there is not even the promised new engine for this car. VK-3000, previously declared, was transformed into VK-2500М, the type certificate for which is planned to be received in 2020 year.
At the same time, the deputy general director of the holding was full of optimism, speaking about the prospects of the PSV flying laboratory, which de facto represents a demilitarized modification of the Mi-24, very far from the previously declared image.
“As you understand, one should always speak very carefully about research and development. Nevertheless, we hope that at the first stage, the speed will be 400 – 450 km / h, and then (continue - Y.A.) until reaching 500 km / h, ”said Andrei Shibitov, without explaining how long Financing will last the first stage of the reformatted project.
However, at present Russian Helicopters have two successful projects, Ansat and Ka-226, which, according to experts, can close the whole niche of light multipurpose helicopters in Russia without damage to each other.
Here are just not without a spoon of tar in a barrel of honey. They are inferior to helicopter foreign cars, at least according to the criterion of cost – efficiency.
During the exhibition, a set of measures to advance the purchases of Ansat or Ka-226 by Russian companies was discussed, which will make the machines more attractive financially.
In addition, a very acute problem on the agenda is common to the entire domestic aircraft industry. As part of the business program of the exhibition, a round table discussion entitled “Counterfeit in supplies: is it possible to eliminate the demand for counterfeit products in the helicopter industry?”. He demonstrated a high interest on the part of helicopter operator companies in solving the problem of counterfeit availability on the market (fakes) and in the legislative work conducted by the state authorities of the country on this issue.
The scale of the problem is indicated by the facts. Since 2001, the State Research Institute of Civil Aviation has tested more than 62 thousands of aircraft components, and 5025 forged have been identified, including aircraft engines, rotor blades, tail rotors, etc. Only for 2014 a year and only on Mi-8 helicopters more than 400 fake, questionable components were revealed.
At the same time, this regrettable statistics shows that the full-fledged after-sales support of aviation equipment declared by the holding company “Helicopters of Russia” is at least a fiction. Otherwise, the company would not rely on the adoption of measures by the state in solving this problem, but would itself establish a full-fledged control over the condition of the machines and their components.
Experts express bewilderment about the fact that today, in the digital age, the control system is not implemented, which fully operated in the Soviet Union on the basis of paper-based documentation.
Another example of inadequate attitudes towards operators from the holding company “Helicopters of Russia” was shown at the round table on the topic “Experience of Sanitary Aviation in the Regions of the Russian Federation” held as part of the IV Interdepartmental Scientific and Practical Conference “Sanitary Aviation and Medical Evacuation - 2016” .
The representative of Kazan Aggregate Plant LLC (formerly Vystok LLC), who made a presentation entitled “Medical Modules for Russian Aircraft”, was asked when the plant would make at least a model of a medical module that would allow medical staff on the Ansat helicopter to carry out resuscitation missions activity.
The answer was discouraging. It takes several years to create a new module. Most of the time is spent on coordination with the developer of the helicopter and paperwork in various instances. Any change is accompanied by additional tests and changes in the registration certificate of the product. The specialists of the Kazan company fully understand the medical profession, but in this case there is no customer and a helicopter that would be the basis for the design work.
It turns out that the holding is promoting a car to the market in a configuration that does not meet all the requirements of those who will operate it directly. With such an attitude to the client, the statistics on the use of helicopters for medical flights are unlikely to change in favor of Russian cars.
As of the end of 2015 of the year, more than 2 thousand helicopters are involved in medical services around the world, 58% of the machines are of them - Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopter - 20%, Leonardo Helicopters - 14%, by 3% Sikorsky Aircraft and MDHI, but the share of Russian helicopters is only 2%.
At least on HeliRussia, a H135 helicopter in medical-evacuation version was popular with a certain circle of specialists. According to their estimates, it is more likely to perform medical activities in flight.
During the exhibition, the French company Safran Helicopter Engines signed a memorandum of understanding with UZGA on the localization of production in Russia of gas turbine engines Arrius 2R. It is planned to explore the capabilities of the Russian assembly of French engines. The final decision on the project is expected before the end of 2016.
At the same time, the possibility of localization on the UZGA assembly of the Arrius 2B2Plus modification used on the H135 helicopter is also being considered.
Currently, the Ka-226T helicopter is already operated by the Arrius 2G1 engine, and the Ardiden 3G engine has been approved by the French authorities for use on the new Ka-62 Russian helicopter.
Why such attention to foreign engines? Because for several decades, domestic developers can only boast of promises about helicopter engines.
After the team of Yuri Lastochkina left NPO Saturn, it was not even a question of creating an engine for light helicopters. Figuratively speaking, on the design shelves of the company are not implemented in the helicopter theme RD-600В and AL-55.
Klimov has been very successful at exhibiting bright, colorful programs performed by women's dance groups, but with a demonstration of the practical results of helicopter engines, things are not so beautiful.
For example, the VK-800 engine is known to visitors of aviation exhibitions by advertising leaflets and mock-ups, but no more. Therefore, the statement of Technodinamika holding at the HeliRussia 2016 exhibition about the start of work on the TD-701 family of light-duty engines for light helicopters was perceived by experts as a statement of the incompetence of AO Klimov on this topic.
The new project is being carried out as part of the import substitution program, designed for four years, during which it is planned to create 12 engines (5 - for flight tests). "Technodinamika" has already agreed to the terms of reference for the development work on the development of engines. Currently, the outline design stage has begun.
“We have high competencies in the development of power plants and are ready to enter this market, while today we see the need for such engines on the market. Many consumers of aircraft technicians note that foreign analogues do not allow helicopters to operate under a number of conditions, so our main competitive advantage will be price and advanced application options, - said the head of Technodynamics Maxim Kuzyuk. “At the same time, today we have a ready base for the rapid implementation of this engine due to the accumulated experience of the development team and the established cooperation in production and testing at the existing Hydraulics base and UEC enterprises. There will also be attracted test base CIAM them. Baranova. According to him, all these factors allow us to count on the accelerated launch of new engines on the market.