Ground effect — increase of bearing parameters of the wing of an aircraft flying at low altitudes due to the impact surface. With its manifestation for the first time faced pilots: the approach, in particular close to the ground, piloting aircraft become more complex, thus, the higher the quality of the airplane was aerodynamic, the stronger the action onscreen affected "cushion". From the perspective of the pilots and aircraft designers, this effect will certainly virtuous, and there is nothing unusual in the fact that the possibility of useful makers interested in the phenomenon of high-speed vessels.
As is known, the introduction of hydrofoils has greatly, 2-3 times and speeds compared with the displacement ships. However, future growth was actually not feasible because of the physical phenomenon of cavitation (boiling point of discharge cool) water on the upper surface of the hydrofoil. Court on an artificially created superchargers hovercraft have gained a speed of about 150-180 km / hour — a level that has become the limit for them because of the loss of resistance movement. WIG supported above the surface with a dynamic air cushion, promised a decision problems emerged for the upcoming increase speed.
Back in the pre-war period in TsAGI, a series of experimental and theoretical work, allowed to make a mathematical basis for the design and engineering development of existing models. The introduction of ground effect gave a sharp increase in economic returns WIG compared with comparable aircraft take-off weight and payload: for winged flight is likely with the minimum number of engines (or at least the engines power) and, accordingly, with the lowest fuel consumption than a comparable aircraft. In addition, taking off from the water ekranoplane not need expensive airports, leading out of the large land areas. The advantage over the SCS (hydrofoil) — at a cruising speed of 4.6 times the ship's crew and the smallest lot. But the most promising introduction WIG looked in the military: to the above listed pluses joined secretive past — soaring to a height of several meters of the object is very hard to find visually or by radar that can inflict surprise attacks, all of this while remaining low vulnerability to return fire. Throw in maneuverability, a large capacity, long range acts, resistance to combat damage — and you get almost flawless tf for landing and support of amphibious assault.
First, the 60s began working on real samples for use specifically in the military — do not now forget about the time in which described the action unfolded. Parent enterprises that created a new kind of technology, aviation became OKB Beriev Taganrog (known for its seaplanes), where a group of designers under the R.L.Bartini designed a series of WIG with the designation VVA — amphibious flying up vertically, and ship CDB SEC behalf REAlekseyev in Nizhny Novgorod (former sourness), of course, at that time there were live both manager and led the organizations they were other names.
Design teams are faced with a mass of intractable problems: the need for the creation of a strong light and once a structure that can withstand the impact of the wave crests at a speed of 400-500 km / h and an altitude not exceeding the value of the mean aerodynamic chord of the wing, which was manifested and ground effect. It was necessary to create the necessary materials, because the shipyards were very languid, and the aircraft did not maintain contact with salt water and rapidly corroded. The final outcome was impossible without reliable engines — the job held popular motor building company headed by ND Kuznetsov, has prepared a special marine extensively modified vserasprostranennyh turboprop — NC-12, and turbojet — NK-8-4 engines that are operated by An- 22 "Antey", Tu-95, Tu-154 and many others.
It should be noted that the creation of the airfoil samples taken not only in the USSR and in other countries: Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany, the United States.
But the need for a large amount of research and development activities, comprehensive layout and field research — in the absence of belief in the ultimate success — led to the curtailment of development at the termination of municipal finance. So there is a unique, divergent stereotyping situation: unlike most of the other cases, where the value in the development of something owned by the Russian Federation, and then because of nerazvorotlivosti state-bureaucratic machine is lost, airfoil, as a kind of technology, invented by the Finns, were due assessment of "the party and the government", CB, promoted research on the creation of combat vehicles, took advantage of the unlimited support and funding. Was adopted pursuant to a municipal program that where the customer is the Naval Fleet of the USSR.
And if in Taganrog after the death of Robert Bartini — a talented engineer, a descendant of an Italian aristocratic family, in their Communist beliefs enforced exile in 1923 in the USSR, work on the projected under management ekranoplan VVA-14 was stopped, the Nizhny Novgorod design and construction was wide scope. They were conducted on several major fronts: missile strike with cruise missiles on board, troop-winged, patrol and anti-submarine unit. Then came clarify terminology became known as WIG ships capable of flying only on-screen pad, apparatus also having the opportunity to go out on a purely airplane mode, designated as ekranolyots.
The winged VVA-14
After a series of tests with models in the process of which was worked out fundamentally layout scheme was successively built 10 prototypes and a gradual increase in size and take-off weights. The top of the aerodynamic look for solutions was built in 1963 KM — Ship Model of colossal dimensions: a length of 100 m, a wingspan of about 40 meters and a takeoff weight of over 540 tons in the late 60's he was photographed South American satellites, and West KM received nicknamed "the Beast of the Caspian Sea" for its own unusual carnivorous species. The winged comprehensively tested over fifteen years and founded the full viability of this type of technology. Unfortunately, in 1980 due to pilot error, he suffered a tragedy that led to significant damage and sank.
Continuing the line of development, in 1972, the navigation (flight) tests was derived aerodynamic ground "Eaglet", created for the transfer of amphibious assault on the range to 1,500 km. "Eaglet" is able to carry up to 200 Marines with full arms or two floating tanks (armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles), with the crews to take off from waves up to 2 meters and a speed of 400-500 km / hour to deliver troops to the landing site. For it is not an obstacle any protective barriers — mine and network — it just flies over them. After landing on the water and out on the relatively flat in store, "Eaglet" drops people and technology through a hinged nose section to the right. At trial, one of the test flights, an aerodynamic showed amazing tenacity, receiving fatal damage to the ship, and even more so for the aircraft. From hitting the water at the "Eaglet" came off with a stern keel, canards and sustainer engine NK-12MK. But the pilots did not panic, and increased turnover nose landing engines, did not give effect craft plunge into the water and brought the car to the beach. The premise of the tragedy, seems to have cracks in the rear of the chassis, acquired
during the previous flight time and not seen. On the new copies fragile construction material K482T1 was replaced by an aluminum-magnesium alloy AMG61. A total of five built-effect craft type "Eaglet", "Double" — for static tests, and C-23 — the first flight model of alloy K482T1 (developed after the tragedy), C-21, built in 1977, C-25, collected in 1980 and C-26, introduced into service in 1983. They all were a part of naval aviation, and on this basis was formed by the 11-th separate air group specific submission to the General Staff of Naval Aviation. One of them was also lost in 1992 as a result of the disaster, during which a crew member died.
According to some reports, the municipal programm anticipate the construction of 100 (!) "Eaglet". In the end, this figure was adjusted to 24, serial assembly had to produce a shipbuilding factory in Nizhny Novgorod and Feodosia. But these plans were not destined to incarnate. In 1985 he was killed Dmitry Ustinov — Minister of Defense of the USSR People's Commissar and last (Minister) under Stalin. In times Ustinov intensively developed the creation of new types of weapons in general and ground-viz. The new defense minister, Sergei Sokolov, last dashing figure with a tanker and breadth of vision, limited tank triplex, closed construction program from WIG and funds allocated to it chose to give the expansion of the fleet of nuclear submarines, after which the Navy had lost interest in his own unique unit, and once completely hidden base in the town of Kaspiysk, located on the shores of the sea a few kilometers from the capital of Dagestan — Makhachkala, uniformly comes to desolation — funds are only currency composition of the personnel. Flight crew, before the arrival of a group of summer, in the main, to the anti-amphibian aircraft Be-12, has a small plaque-year — 30 hours — "on other types of aircraft": WIG are not in flying condition in part because of its service life, partly due to the lack of financing all the same, and means and spare parts, materials and fuel.
Tarus — ASW Aircraft Be-12
Exactly how and aerodynamic ground branch of the "Eaglet", the branch withers and missile attack "Lun." Occupying a central position in the sizes and starting weight between the CM and the "Eaglet", "Lun" is also unique in its own way. In fact, being a high-speed transport and launch platform for supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles ZM80 complex "Mosquito" developed "Raduga", he has the power broadside — 6 launchers container type — comparable to a volley of missile cruisers, surpassing it by the speed used in 10. The advantage in maneuverability and stealth, and do not have to read. It is also important that prices of construction and operation of "Lun" is much cheaper. Naturally, airfoil can not change the mother ship missile, but is not foreseen. But to act in a relatively limited area, what are, for example. Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea or the dark, squadron "Looney" could nicely complement warships. At the moment, one built shock "Lun" is the terrain base in Kaspiysk, presenting a sad sight, causing the association with a stuffed dinosaur, put up for display in the Museum of Paleontology. Second, according to some reports, being completed in a search-and-rescue variant.
Faced with the absence of the customer base, the CDB on behalf of the SEC REAlekseyev trying to fish in their sails wind conversion. On the basis of existing projects developed civilian modification of "L'Aiglon" and "Lun." One of them — research — MAGE (Marine Arctic Geological reconnaissance WIG). But the main hopes are with 2 small WIG: boating "Volga-2" on a dynamic air cushion (option simply WIG) effect craft and the new multi-purpose "Swift". Both devices are built and tested lapping tests in Nizhny Novgorod. With them in the CDB are calculated on a commercial success in the international market. There is already a proposal from Iran, the government assumes purchase a series of "Swifts" in the patrol and patrol version for its own navy in the Persian Gulf. Batch creation is organized at a shipyard in Nizhny Novgorod. An aerodynamic device is a double length of 11.4 meters and a wingspan of 6.6 m Maximum take-off weight of 1630 kg. "Swift" develops the highest speed of 200 km / h and has a range of 500 km. It has two rotary piston engine VAZ-4133 with capacity of 150 liters. s. each, five-bladed propellers twisting diameter of 1.1 meters from the main airframe design of aluminum-magnesium alloy.
As mentioned above, the Navy of the Russian Federation does not have the funds for the purchase of drums and troop-carrying aerodynamic ground, and though remains some hope for the construction of anti modifications, still in today's difficult economic and political situation of those hopes look very bleak. Not better things, and the financing of civilian development — planned budget allocation of 200 million before the end of 1993, the amount sufficient for the views of the head designer "Eaglet" Viktor Sokolov, to continue the work, and transferred to the account of the CDB … two million.
In the near future the history of WIG gained quite a sudden turn.
After analyzing the potential of this type of technology and came to the conclusion that significant, to say the least, the backlog of work (for the actual absence of such) in ekranoplanostroeniya, the U.S. Congress made a special commission to create a plan of actions to eliminate the "Russian breakthrough." Commission members proposed asking for help … Russian to himself and went directly to the CDB by SEC, the Office of the latter to notify Moscow and received permission from the State Committee and the Ministry of Defence to hold talks with the Yankees under the auspices of the Commission on Export Control of arms, military equipment and technology Defense Ministry. And not to lure too much attention to the subject of negotiations, inquisitive Yankees offered the services of an American company under the neutral title "Russian-American science" (RAS), and when it is mediated by the delegation of overseas professionals had the opportunity to visit the CDB SEC, meet with designers airfoil find out, if possible, to know the details. Then razlyubezno Russian side agreed to arrange a visit to the South American researchers base in Kaspiysk, where they were able to pull off without limitation in detail in the photo and video tape prepared for take-off especially for this visit, "Eaglet".
Who came into the South American "landing"? Managing the delegation — U.S. Air Force Colonel Francis, who heads the program from creation of a promising tactical fighter. Under his command were prominent specialists from research centers, including the NASA representatives aircraft manufacturing companies in America, the middle of a well-known personality was Burt Rutan, who designed the plane unusual aerodynamic configuration "Voyager" in which a couple of years back his brother did non-stop round-the-world flight. In addition, the delegation, according to those present at the show representatives of Russian authorities, were the person on duty over the years collecting all the information about the probable methods of Russian ekranoplans for the first time and suddenly had the opportunity to behold with our eyes — and even touch — the object of its own attention.
result of these visits that cost the South American taxpayers only 200 thousand dollars, our new friends will be able to save a few billion, and significantly, for 5-6 years, to reduce the development time of projects of their own WIG. U.S. officials have raised the question about the organization of joint activities to eliminate the backlog of its own in this area. The ultimate goal — the creation of troop-winged takeoff weight of up to 5,000 tons for U.S. forces frisky response. The entire program can take 15 billion. bucks. What part of this sum can be invested in the Russian science and industry — and whether invested in general — is not yet clear. With such organization meeting when purchased 200 thousand dollars does not cover the costs of the CDB and the most experienced I plant 300 million to bring to flying condition "Eaglet", rely on the mutual benefits of cooperation is not necessary.
Doubts about the usefulness of this kind of contacts for municipal interests of the Russian Federation and the response suggests a bureaucrat of the Commission responsible for export control of arms, military equipment and technology Defense Ministry Andrei Logvinenko for him at the sudden appearance in the Caspian Sea (once with the Yankees), members of the press. Officially, citing the judgment of privacy (!), He tried to ban reporters entrance to the base, and then followed a private conversation, explained that his puzzle comes to preventing leaks in the seal disk imaging of the Russian-US contacts about WIG and added that after leaving the Yankees We can shoot and write anything, but made no mention of the South American visit to the last hidden object.
Who can confidently predict the actions that may occur through year-two, and even more so to the beginning of the next century? Fully likely that variant, that a relatively small lumen, the U.S. deployed its fleet of high-speed and aerodynamic ground invulnerable, in the form of which will be recognized by the contours of their Russian prototypes, and Russia will have to take adequate measures to oboyduschiesya amount to hundreds or thousands of times greater than the funds that one expects get. The ideological confrontation is over, hunt hope forever, but the geopolitical interests of America and the Russian Federation far do not always coincide, and if someone has delusions on that score, the event can not serve as the basis for the implementation of the limit on unprofitable prices disk imaging on new defense technology.
Looking through the documents of correspondence CDB on behalf of the SEC REAlekseyev with numerous gosucherezhdeniyami on ekranoplanostroeniya, once again convinced how difficult the development of a unique new way for the road itself. Would not have had a couple of years to catch up, and even more to take us in the West invented, and then rejected in their country.
A brief technical description of the landing winged "Eaglet"
The winged "Eaglet" designed for conventional aerodynamic configuration. This trimotored nizkoplan with T-tail and fuselage-boat. Airframe made in the main from the AMG61 alloy is also of steel. Radioparent surface — made of composite materials. Airframe corrosion protection provided by chemical protectors and special coatings.
The fuselage. Girder-stringer has a load-bearing structure. It houses the shower and rest room for the crew compartments of electronic and radio communication equipment, cargo compartment length of 28.0 m, a width of 3.4 m with a power floor and tie-down cleats, as the APU compartment and on-board units, self-starting engines provide the main propulsion unit and work hydraulic and electronic systems. For loading and unloading of vehicles and people behind the cabin crew provided power connector, with which the nose of the fuselage turns to the right by 90 °. The bottom of the boat hull-established system redanov and 2 gidrolyzhami that hold the main and nose landing gear.
Wing. The aerodynamic wing assembly is optimized for flying around the screen: a large angle of attack is small — 3.25 — lengthening and sweep of 15 °. Along the rear edge of each semicircular fitted 5-sectional flaps, ailerons differences with angles +42 ° … -10 °, on the bottom surface of the consoles, along the front edge, special starting pads mounted from the front axis of rotation and the angle difference 70 °. The mechanization of the wing used on the rise for the creation of a gas cushion that separates the water from the airfoil. At the ends of the floats bearing planes fitted with reinforced their secondary chassis. Structurally, the wing center section and consists of a 2-consoles have mnogolonzheronnuyu decompression power circuit.
The tail assembly. In order to reduce the impact of the screen on the stability and maneuverability of ground-effect craft, also to prevent splashing in slider and the blade screws on the "Eaglet" Used T-shaped tail. The regulator has swept across the front edge of the 45 ° and equipped four-part elevators. Vertical tail sweep 40 ° is integral to the fuselage.
Chassis. It consists of a two-wheeled nasal desyatikolesnoy and main bearings with non-braking pneumatics. Nose wheel turning. Folds supports are not available. The design of the chassis, along with ski-amortizable device and provide a cross-jet actually on at least some surfaces: soil, snow, ice.
Power plant. Includes two starting turbojet engine NK-8-4K (static maximum traction 10.5 tons), and marching turboprop KH-12MK (static maximum draft 15.5 m). Rotary nozzle starting engines can bring jets under the wing of a blowing mode (on takeoff or landing), or over the wing when needed growth thrust in cruise flight. Start engines made by the auxiliary power unit EA-6A. The fuel tanks are located in the wing roots.
Systems and equipment. On board the winged installed navigation system "screen" with surveillance radar in the fairing at the front at the top nasal fuselage. In the nose cone is aerial navigation radar collision warning with high resolution "screen-4" on the "Eaglet" set automatic flight control system, similar to aircraft autopilots, allowing flying in manual or automatic mode. The hydraulic system provides the drive control surfaces of the wing, cleaning and landing gear and gidrolyzh, rotate flip nasal fuselage. Electrical shock provides flight control and navigation, radio communication and electrical equipment. The winged equip specific naval units: marine navigation lights and anchor-towing accessories.
Weaponry. On board the "Eaglet" in a rotating turret mounted a defensive double-barreled gun, "Rock" 14.5 mm caliber.