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Russian helicopter Mi-38 will receive a Type Certificate

Russian helicopter Mi-38 / Federal Air Transport Agency 30 December 2015 issued a type certificate for the Mi-38 with engines TV7-117V. The document was issued with a number of traditional restrictions for this case: only the transport version, without the possibility of passengers, with the restriction on the maximum speed and altitude of flight, under mild operating conditions expected for the temperature altitude home, without the possibility to take off the snow-covered runway. However, in 2016 the developer expects to hold a large amount of test flights that would remove the existing constraints, and by 2017 to obtain a certificate of "A" category, receive addition to the certificate on the passenger version and significantly increase the possibility of the machine. To summarize many years of designers, "AviaPort" recalls the major milestones creation of the Mi-38.
Hard times
Domestic civil aircraft, the creation of which occurred in 1980-1990-s, can not boast of good fortune. Start of work on their design had for years to lift the national aircraft industry, their technical configuration defined future requirements, harmonized with international, mortgage widespread use of computer technology, composite materials ... Alas, none of the projects of those years did not repeat the success of its predecessors. Most rastirazhirovanny Tu-204 is not reproduced in hundreds of copies, including a version with increased take-off weight of the Tu-214, a shortened version of the Tu-204-300 and Tu-204SM modernized. Il-96-300 / -400 is not blocked by the serial no prior IL-62 long-range, or even the first domestic wide-body Il-86. Tu-334 and Il-114 also became bestsellers.
Not easier to vertol?tostroitelyam who came to the end of the century with an impressive portfolio of developments. One of the most promising projects was the Mi-38, which was considered as the development of the legendary Mi-8 / -17. Increased cargo cabin, increased rates of speed, flight range, payload, shortened the crew - these were the requirements of the Civil Aviation of the USSR. Prospective study of middle helicopter started in 1986, the design began in 1988, the 1989 model of the helicopter was presented at the air show in Le Bourget, a full-scale mock-up was presented at the air show in 1992. A year later started the production of two prototypes.
Until the late 1990s, experts of the Moscow Helicopter Plant. Mile failed to complete the detailed design and build models for static tests. In I quarter 2001, a flying laboratory, created on the basis of Mi-17 flight tests have been carried out set of composite blades, created by winding. Using new profiles allowed significantly improve the performance of the helicopter: at comparable with the Mi-17 rotor diameters from the Mi-38 significantly large maximum takeoff weight and better speed performance. In summer 2002, the first stage of testing the main gearbox VR-38, developed by "Red October". Finally, in the same period of Kazan Helicopters (LSC) has almost completed the assembly of the first prototype: he was waiting for the main gearbox, under bench detention. But practically the whole of 2003 was held in anticipation of the first flight. To accelerate its implementation, the helicopter did not show at the MAKS-2003, however, the impression that the program is stalled on the little things. It came to the point that the developer could not find a suitable parachutes to perform the first flight to the construction of the chairs are not allowed to place a traditional styling and a "flat" laying without exhaust dome did not want to use.
However, the efforts of designers and manufacturers have been rewarded. December 22, 2003 was carried out the first six-minute hover, and the next day the car in flight showed Deputy Prime Minister Boris Alyoshin. To fly in a straight line and the machine has started the implementation of the evolutions of August 25, 2004.
Developer impose strenuous testing program, numbering about 1,000 flights, it was planned to perform on three machines. According to existing plans at the time, in 2007, it was to be completed certification to the AP-29. The future plans was to get American and European certificates of FAR-29 and JAR-29, respectively, category A and B. The Mi-38 has received government funding and has also received funds from extra-budgetary sources - from direct participants in the program. It seemed that during the hard times passed.
Unfulfilled expectations
At the beginning of October 2004 LSC received numerous guests: here the presentation of the Mi-38. The car climbed to a height of 200 meters, was dispersed to 300 kilometers per hour, and served hover turns, leading observers delight. A General Director Alexander Lavrentyev promised that no later than 2008 car will hit the market. Potential sales of the Mi-38 in the global aviation market in this period was estimated at 300 units, including 100 for export. The cost of R & D was to be $ 400-500 million, and the price of the helicopter should not exceed $ 12-16 million. In the future, the time of execution of the first flight, the cost of the program increased to $ 700-800 million. According to the calculations of the manufacturer, it was necessary to produce not less than 90 helicopters to recoup the program, while the average rate of release could be 10-12 cars a year. Against the background of the competition, such as the EH101, NH90 and S-92, Mi-38 differed almost half the value at the top flight performance. At the same time operating costs trends were to be two times lower than that of the Mi-8, due to the high maintainability, increase the interval for servicing procedures, increase the resource of the main systems in four to six times, as well as built-in self-test.
But it was the first time questions were asked, which subsequently influenced the course of the program. Journalists interested in how the program will affect the fate of the company KHP entry to the newly created holding company, will order a novelty Russian Defense Ministry, and why were selected engines of foreign manufacture.
Around the creation of the holding company "Helicopters of Russia" in the past decade has been broken a lot of copies, but eventually the integration of helicopter industry sub-sector took place, and Mi-38 received a high priority in the strategy of the enterprise. As for the interest of the security forces and the choice of the power plant, these issues were interlinked. Told journalists at the presentation of the head of the Department of the Air Force "Rosoboronexport" Ivan Zhmurko, prospects for the Mi-38 will be open to the Ministry of Defense, and then "Rosoboronexport", only after it establish domestic engines and complex avionics. "Klimov Plant", the developer of the majority of helicopter engines, has offered not to force TV3-117 and create a helicopter TV7-117S version installed on the regional aircraft IL-114. As for the avionics, the management cost centers Mile then inclined to the development of CB "Russian Avionics", or Ramenskoye Design Bureau.
One more question - about the partnership with Eurocopter - have received a response. It is worth recalling that in the wake of international relations warming vertol?tostroiteli attempted to attract foreign partners in the project. In 1994 it created a joint venture "Euromil" in which on a par includes MVZ Mil, KHP, Klimov Plant and Western European company Eurocopter. Two years later, the developer of the project came out of the engine, and the company's shares were divided "on three." As an engine supplier was selected Pratt & Whitney Canada, which put the first flight personnel sample two engines PW127T / S. However, the international project did not become: the company Eurocopter, which was to invest in the project $ 100 million, came under the action of the 1998 law "On state regulation of aviation development," which limited the participation of foreign partners in aviation projects by 25 percent, while This has been a ban on the participation of foreigners in the governing bodies of the joint venture. This, in fact, determined the output of the European partner of the project in 2003, it was decided that the shares redeemed in equal parts by the two other shareholders, and Eurocopter at the end of the year came out of the joint venture. However, this remained an agreement that the European partners will provide the Mi-38 complex on-board navigation equipment, control units and interior. In addition, Eurocopter maintained worldwide sales and support in certification according to European standards. However, upon a European company has ceased to participate in the program.
It would seem that the main problems have been solved: the flights started, key units and components demonstrate their operation, the partners are committed to complete the certification, and potential buyers already eyeing a new product. Thus, the leasing company "Avialeasing" declared its readiness to purchase five helicopters, expressed interest in the new product, and the general director of "UTair" Andrei Martirosov.
But more and more difficult to find extra-budgetary funds was given for the project. For example, the first two engines PW-127T / S company Pratt & Whitney Canada has transferred developer helicopter free, but for the second prototype, which was planned to gather in 2005, it was required to purchase a set of engines. The proceeds from Eurocopter stopped after the release of the company's project. Own resources developer and serial factory lacked in 2005 decreased revenue and profit KHP, R & D for the Mi-38 was able to send only 32 million rubles. As a result, by mid-July 2005 aboard the OP-1 (experimental prototype - the first one) has fulfilled only 18 flights.
LSC did not give up, actively promoting its line of art at various exhibitions, where the Mi-38 side by side versions of the Mi-17, as well as the design bureau developed the enterprise easy "ANSAT" ultra-light and "act". It was expected that the company's financial position will recover by 2007. But in late 2007, the helicopter has completed a program of factory tests and got to fault detection and refinement. In the program there was a break.
Forced to restart
Prospects for the implementation of virtually any project related to the presence of the anchor customer. In the post-Soviet Russian aircraft manufacturers such customer saw the state structures, but the Ministry of Defense, as well as other potential buyers of the Mi-38, did not accept the idea of ??equipping a helicopter engines North American assembly. It was necessary to agree on a license issue PW127T / S in Russia, or find an alternative engine of domestic production.
Lengthy negotiations led to the achievement of the May 2008 agreement that Pratt & Whitney Canada, "Russian Helicopters", "Ufa Engine Industrial Association" (UMPO) and the Central Institute of Aviation Motors will be responsible for the creation of a turboshaft engine version PW127 and its certification by standards of Transport Canada and Russian standards. "Helicopters of Russia" together with UMPO had to invest in the development and localization of motor PW127T / S. Unique modules convert and adapt the PW127 turboshaft engine in, it was planned to produce in Russia under the technical supervision "Pratt & Whitney Rus" - branch of Pratt & Whitney Canada in St. Petersburg, which was also to provide technical support for engines and customer support. Certification Engine PW127T / S in Russia has been planned for 2011. But the Russian-Georgian conflict in 2008 buried the prospects for such cooperation: The US State Department did not support the idea of ??cooperation with the Russian North American engine builders vertol?tostroitelyami.
By early 2009 there was a situation in which the project had to be restarted or actually creating it under the new domestic engines and modifying gear, or closed. It was chosen the first option. The Mi-38 was a line in the federal target program of development of civil aviation, according to which it was planned to allocate 1.5 billion rubles from the federal budget and the same - means "Oboronprom". The exhibition HeliRussia-2009 Head of the "Oboronprom" Andrei Reus said that the creation of the Mi-38 with domestic engines TV7-117V development of "Klimov" go away for two years, and sell the helicopters will be no earlier than 2012. The program director of the Mi-38 George Sinel'shchikov estimated dates of commencement of serial production more pessimistic - does not start until 2014.
The replacement of the engine were certain advantages: in addition to the fact that this would open the way to the parks of national security agencies, and in those years they began to feel much greater budgetary support, the best power characteristics TV7-117 promised an increase in the flight performance of the Mi-38 -2 - such designation received version with Russian engines.
Meanwhile, domestic motors was not completed the OP-2 under the PW127, which was dismantled with OP-1. The second car was planned to work the hydraulic system, electrical equipment, complex avionics IBKO-38, manufactured by "Transas" (OP-1 had a complete set of electromechanical devices). Assembling OP-2, according to the management of CVD was almost completed in 2007. However, in the next, 2008 management of "Helicopters of Russia" has said that the OP-2 will be built this year, and OP-3, fully compliant with the type design - the next. In fact, the first flight of OP-2 had to be moved to December 2010. During this period, the Mi-38-1 in PW127T / S considered as an export option, and Mi-38-2 with TV7-117V was aimed at the domestic market.
Subsequent events have shown that the plans and reality are often at odds, but gradually the "error" was the prediction of decline. After the OP-2 has started hovering and moving at a low speed over the runway, the management of "Helicopters of Russia" stated that mass production of the car will start in 2013. At MAKS-2011 CEO of "Helicopters of Russia" has promised to start mass production in 2014. In December of the same year, the director Vadim KHP Ligay promised start the series in 2015. The first hovering OP-3 made in November 2013, and then a guide for the start of serial production maturity was also in 2015. However, when the October 16, 2014 made the first flight helicopter OP-4, it was stated that the factory certification tests will be completed in June, and certification testing of controls - in November 2015. Now, after receiving the certificate, the term shifted to 2016. In this first production car it is already in the assembly in the LSC, and will be ready for delivery to the customer in the first half.
However, over time the way ...
Looking back at the end of the 1980s, it can be assumed that for nearly 30 years of development, the helicopter was irrevocably obsolete. However, this is not true: a platform created for many decades, and many of today's members of the families of heavy (for European and American standards) helicopters history no less long than the Mi-38. Most close to the parameters of Mil helicopters AW101, previously had the designation EH101. Its first flight took place in 1987, but so far the car is presented in the market and advances in the tenders for the purchase of anti-submarine or search and rescue helicopters, as well as for offshore work. Joint European NH90 is the same age as the Mi-38. The program was launched in 1986, and the first flight of the machine is made in 1995. American Sikorsky S-92 is smaller and much younger - he first took to the air in 1998. However, the elements of the support system and management system, he borrowed the S-70, that is, it dates back to the 1970s.
Of course, you must take into account future challenges. Since last year, Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) announced the creation of a successor helicopter H225, formerly known as the EC225 Super Puma, which has become, in turn, heir created 50 years ago Aerospatiale SA330 Puma. The novelty is expected to receive two new engine capacity of 3000 hp, which will ensure reduction in fuel consumption by 25% compared to current levels. Launch of 19-seat car with a takeoff weight of over 10 tons is expected no earlier than 2022-2023 years. Its main differences are the use of FBWCS, avionics Helionix, new materials the glider, a five-blade main and tail rotor. AgustaWestland and voiced plans for the continued presence in the niche occupied today AW101. The new helicopters will have higher rates of speed and flight range, while providing lower operating costs.
Mi-38 over the years has consistently changed to give different upgrades and improvements. This process is natural and inevitable: certification requirements every day are becoming more stringent, and wanting to sell their products in foreign markets, we have to accept the current rules of the game.

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