Amphibian: Russia lost to Canada with a crushing score
Indonesia, located on 17 Thousand Islands, 6 thousand of which are inhabited, is in dire need of efficient amphibious aircraft. Until recently, Jakarta did not give up hope to buy some of the world’s best aircraft of this type. To use them like fire, and medical, and transport, and passenger. But somehow it didn’t add up. But at the air show in Le Bourget, the Indonesian delegation signed a contract for the purchase of very good amphibious aircraft. Alas, not Russian.
Canadian Corporation Longview Aviation Capital Corporation («Longview») and its member aircraft manufacturer Viking Air Limited released a release, which refers to the contract for the supply of the Ministry of defense of Indonesia seven «flying boats». Six of them are twin-engine turboprop amphibious aircraft Viking Canadair CL-515, which are still preparing to launch into production.
CL-515 is a further development of the well — established Canadair Bombardier CL-415, all rights to which Viking Air bought 3 years ago from Bombardier. And not only on this plane but also on the entire line of amphibians. The seventh aircraft that Indonesia will receive is the turboprop CL-415AEF.
3 aircraft will be built in a fire-fighting version, 4 will be multi-purpose, capable of solving agricultural, medical (three stretchers), passenger (12 seats), transport and rescue tasks. It should be noted that the supply of CL-515 will begin in 2024 when Viking Air will master the production of these aircraft. And this means the final and irrevocable sentence imposed on the Russian aircraft industry, specializing in the production of amphibious aircraft.
For almost five years, Jakarta was looking forward to when BERIEV aircraft company will start supplying the world’s best amphibious aircraft Be-200. In the end, it became clear that if this happens, then later deliveries of CL-515. There is another aggravating moment. Russia will be able to supply not those aircraft that have proven to be the best in the world, but, sadly, marriage. But more on that later.
And one more thing. While Beriev promised a potential customer that is about to start building aircraft, Be-200 ceased to be the best in the world. In 2018, the Chinese took the lead.
However, the difference between Russian and Canadian aircraft is still significant. Fire-fighting modification CL-415 is able to take 6 tons of water, promising CL-515 — 7 tons. Be-200 — 12 tons.
The difference is determined by the capabilities of engines and airframe aerodynamics. Both the maximum and cruising speed of the Be-200 is almost twice as high — 700 km/h against 360 km/h. the Range is almost one and a half times higher. However, Viking Air claims that the developers of the new machine managed to increase the fuel efficiency of engines by 10%-15%.
In the passenger version of the Be-200 takes on Board 43 people, CL-415 — 8. This is quite significant when the aircraft is used by the Ministry of defense for rescue operations. And also to evacuate the wounded.
Bombardier CL-415 made its first flight in the 1993 year and began to operate a year later. A total of 88 aircraft were built. The main operators, in addition to Canada, are France, Italy, Greece.
However, in 2015, Bombardier stopped the production of amphibious aircraft due to a sharp reduction in orders to the level of one or two cars per year. The business decided to continue the company-compatriot — Viking Air. As you can see, the first customers for an improved modification of the aircraft have already been found.
The Be-200 has a different fate. The aircraft made its first flight in 1998. Began to be operated in 2003. To date, 12 aircraft have been built. 9 are operated in EMERCOM of Russia, becoming media heroes when large forest fires begin in the country. One plane sold to the Ministry of emergency situations of Azerbaijan. 2 prototypes, Beriev. Aircraft company for many years cannot go anywhere to attach.
At the same time, this, indeed, beautiful plane orders above the roof. EMERCOM of Russia ordered 24 cars by 2024. Rescuers are waiting, though pretty nervous. And the Ministry of defense is already tired of waiting — not getting laid on the state contract 6 aircraft, the military Department in 2017 years recovered from the tank them. Aircraft company 6.7 billion rubles.
It would seem that everything for the construction of aircraft is available. And a good aircraft worked technologically. And the production facilities. And professional staff. And certain funds, which should be enough to start production. And there are customers because the machine is fine, in practice, it proved its effectiveness. Some time ago, before the development of the situation of frenzy, the Be-200 would like to get the Americans. And not a couple, but a dozen.
But no engines.
Be-200 is designed for turbojet engines D-436TP, which are produced in Ukraine. Now they are not supplied to Russia. And the emergency replacement is not expected.
Other aircraft companies are guided by the PD-14 engine developed in Perm, which has a thrust of 14 tons of force. Manufacturers of large aircraft at the time. At the same time, the engine is already being put into mass production. For aircraft of smaller dimensions with limited payload, a modification of the PD-10 with less thrust is provided. However, it is difficult to say exactly when the PD-10 will be ready. And when the fit engine will receive the operation safety certificate. Experts call the terms in the range from 4 to 7 years.
But Beria chose another option. It promises a temporary win, but a loss in quality.
Recently, it was reported that in Beriev. Berieva intends to use in the Be-200 Russian-French engine SaM146, developed by Safran. It is this engine used in the liner Sukhoi-Superjet.
The passport for the engine is guaranteed 8 thousand hours before overhaul. However, it is necessary to repair after 2-4 thousand hours of flight, which is predetermined by the appearance of cracks in the hot part of the engine. Defects are exactly the same, equally manifested in each engine, subject to early repair. That is, it is an obvious design error. However, the French do not recognize this, continuing to drive the marriage. Due to the fact that the aircraft for a long time idle, waiting for engine repair, their operation is unprofitable. And a number of operators get rid of unprofitable «Superjet».
So, Beria stepping on the same rake. More than six months ago, the Director of repair be-200 Ilya Konyukhov said that the French has corrected design errors. And we are ready not only to produce modernized engines but also to «put in order» those already produced. However, nothing has changed in the fate of Superjet. And the Sukhoi design Bureau intends to find a substitute for the French marriage.
Well, in conclusion about the Chinese amphibious aircraft, which in 2018 bypassed the Be-200 in performance. This is AG600 Jiaolong, which means «Water dragon». Dual-purpose aircraft. For civil purposes, it is used for fire fighting, is able to collect 12 tons of water in tanks in 20 seconds. It can also carry 50 passengers. Tonnage when using the aircraft as a transport vehicle is not reported. However, it is undoubtedly higher than that of the Be-200, and CL-515 judging by the capabilities of the power plant. «Water dragon» is equipped with four turboprop engines, their total capacity is 20400 HP Actually, and the maximum take-off weight of the Chinese aircraft is 15 tons more than the Russian — 53 tons against 38 tons. Also, the «Flying dragon» is going to be used for mineral exploration and for monitoring the state of the aquatic environment.
The Ministry of defense of China intends to use the AG600 for Maritime patrols. In principle, this aircraft is quite capable of performing anti-submarine functions. This allows the volume of equipment and weapons that can be placed in the spacious fuselage, as well as the flight range, which is 5500 km. At the Be-200 — 3100 km.
The manufacturing company received an order for 17 AG600. And there is no doubt — all of them will be built on time.