The famous Soviet "corncob" An-2 biplane, is widely used on local airlines to transport cargo and passengers, as well as in agriculture, now, it would seem, has become part of history. But the replacement of the An-2 in the regional aviation, especially in remote areas still do not have, according to Prime.
On the program of modernization of the legendary aircraft with the installation of modern American engines and opening up in connection with this new prospects for small aircraft the director of the Novosibirsk Federal State Unitary Enterprise "SibNIA them. SA Chaplygin "Vladimir Badger
— The first modified aircraft with a new engine from Honeywell flew on 5 September 2011. The second year he was flying, and the program, respectively, started in January 2011.
As a result of these first flight was designed and modified engine mount — a device used to mount the engine, the main load-bearing element that changes the modification. Adjusted and started mass production of this design. Now we are actually at the stage of formulation of the flow of the process of modernization of the aircraft.
The aircraft … all improved performance. Physically, the aircraft was consume 10% less fuel than the previous one An-2. Secondly, He flies all kinds of fuel — kerosene, gasoline and diesel fuel.
Today the aircraft was flying at the minimum flight speed of 35-40 kilometers per hour, and before the An-2 flying at 60-65 kilometers per hour. Significantly reduced vibration in the cabin and in the cockpit. Finally, the plane was now warm. An-2 was different for "cool" at low temperatures. Today, the heating system is such that allows the temperature to minus 30 degrees in the cabin to keep the temperature of 25-28 degrees plus. A gas turbine engine — the high-rise, so today the plane gains altitude very quickly, much faster than the old An-2. For 10-12 minutes we gain height 3-3.2 thousand meters. At this altitude the aircraft relative to the velocity of the Earth is roughly 250 kilometers per hour. Consumption while it decreases and becomes around 160 liters per hour.
That is, the plane became interested in the vehicle. Replaced the engine and propeller — plane is lighter by 500 pounds. Accordingly, the plane with full fuel can upload a maximum payload. It is 1.5 thousand kilograms lucky day with full tanks on the range 1.3-1.4 thousand kilometers. An-2 before flying for 750 miles. This is also a very significant factor that opens up new ways of using the aircraft.
— How high is in connection with the uncovering of the new features of interest to the aircraft?
— Look. For the purposes of forest protection will need somewhere 130-140 aircraft. For chemical works Companyand we have confirmed the order of 40-50 aircraft.
Various airlines — just operators, also expressed intent to purchase from 200 to 250 aircraft, DOSAAF — 200 aircraft Defense Ministry — about 65-67 aircraft. That is, in Russia, we have intentions to modernize 540-560 aircraft. It is only in Russian.
We have demonstrated the Chinese aircraft … The Chinese sent us a letter about the need for 700 aircraft — 100 per year. Shows great interest in Kazakhstan. In late April, their delegation arrives to watching. There is also the potential of 200-250 aircraft. Total consolidated figure expressed interest in this kind of modernization around 1.3-1.4 thousand planes over the next 4-5 years. It's a nice, big number.
— And what are the real possibilities for their production?
— All restricted engines. We analyzed the repair plants. The existing base allows annual upgrade 250-300 aircraft. That is basically the constraint associated with the release of Engines, Honeywell. But with the Honeywell plant we have agreed to license the production of this engine here. Here now are flying to discuss what elements we are going to produce.
— That is, the engine itself will also be produced in Novosibirsk?
— At first, yes. And then, as the development of technologies that will pass it off to the production.
— Gliders samoletovv Russian An-2 have not issued. How long will the old aircraft to upgrade?
— Now in Russian airframe of the aircraft about 2.3-2.4 thousand pieces. China now produces them. If we upgrade that park, which is, I think, just this time, if there is a demand … It is necessary to design a new plane with the same benefits. This can be done for 2-3 years.
— The plane is still so good that simply replacing the engine can do new planes?
— Naturally, you need to conduct an audit of the design with current technology. But the technology itself and the circuit is, in my opinion, today's Russia is indispensable. This is the only biplane world such resolution. That's the feature. Of course, it flies slowly but no Cessna Grand Caravan (USA) on a platform of 100 meters will not sit down. Today, the An-2 will be not compete with him, and with the helicopter Mi-8. We flew in the calm with a takeoff weight of 4.4 kilograms of thousands — the run 50 meters. If the wind counter, then 30-40 meters!
— That is, it even outperforms the MI-8?
— The price very much. It is clear that he does not sit upright. But, for example, Petroleum is in marked areas on which, with appropriate training, you can work the soil — to carry the load. That's 1.5 ton Mi-8 will carry a maximum at a distance of 500 kilometers, and the An-2, these same 1.5 tons will take away at 1.3-1.4 thousand kilometers.
— But in general you optimistic about the future?
— I think there is no other option. If we talk about creating some system of subsidies, the imported aircraft is good, and if we talk about the actual transport, apart from the An-2 carry passengers and cargo today is not on anything. Even if we are not able to complete this project, then sooner or later re-evaluation will occur. China's exactly will fly on this plane.
A full version of the interview: