Report from the Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant, where helicopters are doing-record holders

In August, in Crimeaheldflying helicopter Mi-8 SMEs. Organizer of the event, which was officially registered several records, became the Ukrainian company "Motor Sich". She is from the end of 2011 — a controlling stake "Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant". It will be standard in Orsha gather new helicopters. To assess the working life of the Belarusian plant, went into a huge hangar for a tour.


History of Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant, which is actually located in the village Bolbasovo of Orsha, started in 1941. And until recently, few doubted that the glorious pages of history of the company will remain in the distant past. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Belarus was withdrawn from nuclear bombers Tu-22, Orsha plant was left alone with the search for order and an empty runway, transmitted by inheritance from his military unit.

In Belarus, which could not boast of a large park, only three aircraft repair plant, forced to compete not only among themselves but also with competitors from Russia. Therefore, the management of Orsha factory decided to try repairing new types of aircraft — helicopters. Today, aircraft hangars plant is not left at all.

Going from deep losses to the rare small profits, factory balanced on the neck of the person who wants to get rid of such beneficial ownership — state. In 2011 such a joy occurred when 60% of the shares, plus a large number of additional obligations assumed the Ukrainian company "Motor Sich" — one of the world’s leading manufacturers of aircraft engines. Ukrainians have not had the production site, but there was a desire to do deep modernization of the equipment on their own, and not only to make and sell engines. Belarusians were also hands-free, experienced staff and two empty hangar where it was possible to embody the idea of Ukrainian designers. It is too early to talk about the ultimate success of the investment, but, unlike cyclists aviaremontniki say about the conditions of the agreement: the amount of investment ($ 13 million, of which have already been used $ 8,000,000), providing jobs, social infrastructure and, most importantly, new types of equipment.

— For a sustainable economy we need a repair at least 20 helicopters per year,— The director of the plant Vladimir Troitsky. —The business plan has bolshie figures, reaching up to 60 helicopters per year within a few years. While it is impossible not enough neither the equipment nor the people. But everything has its time. For 11 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union was our best result of repair 11 helicopters.

Last year there were 7 cars, this year — 9. Less than the best indicator, but the reason for optimism lies in the qualitative composition: from 9 refurbished machines 2 — those financially intensive champions Mi-8 SMEs.

What is the this machine? Designed in the early 60’s Mi-8 helicopter was the most massive of the class. Since then produced about 10,000 units, including numerous modifications. The main difference between the Belarusian-Ukrainian project to install new engine fifth-generation developed by "Motor Sich". They have unique properties for power and starting temperature. Experts also say the modernization of the fuselage, but the naked eye can not see any changes.

— Mi-8 operated with success, but eventually stopped first engines to meet the new requirements of the machine,— Says Vladimir Troitsky. —They are not always launched at a temperature above 38 degrees and reached a ceiling of up to 4 thousand meters, where the helicopter has acted hesitantly.

Engines fifth generation infest at 52 degrees and allow the helicopter to lift a record for this class of height — 9150 meters.

— Some would say that we do remake of junk— Smiles Vladimir Troitsky. —But most do not know that the fuselage of the Mi-8 is recognized as one of the best in the world. Now a large fleet of helicopters out of service. In this recent Russian Institute of Civil Aviation took limitation on terms of the Mi-8. At first, she was 28 years, then 35, 40 … It is now established that, if properly operate the machine and time to do major repairs, the helicopter will last up to 100 years.

In other words, the new engine is capable of giving new life to the helicopter.

— We buy old helicopters, modernize them and are willing to sell at a price half the price of new[According to the director, the price of the new Mi-8 MTV Kazan’s production of $ 11.5-12 million], — says Vladimir Troitsky. —In this case, after any repair our car comes with the same features as the new. But with the engine of th
e 5th generation, which in Russia is just not there.

Rare helicopter arrives at the plant on their own. Usually they are delivered in a condition which is characterized by retired with a sigh: "Such a country lost!". In the hangar helicopters dismantled. Equipment that can be removed, leaving a repair and fault detection. Not removable units are tested and Stalling in place. Total helicopter consists of about 400 knots.

The main part of the helicopter — the fuselage. Dural cleaning agents from the paint to the point where it is hard to determine a new metal in front of you or not. Given that the helicopters are not peaceful, then sometimes there are samples with bullet holes. It also "cured." It also laid new wiring, checked the power nodes, change the glass.

— The machine is disassembled to literally screw. Replaced all the rubber-technical products. Many of the items we buy, but a large number have already mastered, and in his own production,— The director of the plant. —As for the repair, we do all the work, except the engine and main gearbox. Also, while not repair the rotor head, but soon get permission for these works.

— Each setting detail, every bolt loosened checked three times: the workers, the master and the master control. It’s not a car— Says Vladimir Troitsky attention to detail —break — on the side of the road is not sedesh.

When the helicopter is repaired, the engine is started first on the ground. Then come the testers and the helicopter flight makes three. Please hang at a height of 15-20 meters. Then, making a circle at an altitude of 200 meters. And finally, rises to a height of 2-3 thousand meters.

While Orsha factory assembled one Mi-8 SME finish work on the second. The queues of customers yet, but it does not scare plant management:

— The machine is new, is in need of promotion. This year, we visited two specialized exhibitions in Russia. Huge interest is shown by foreigners: Latinos, Africans … Russians? They reserved. May see us as competitors.

Both helicopters will be owned airline "Air Orsha." It is an amazing combination for the ear was registered in August by the same shareholders, the owners of the plant. In the future, the general public will be presented to another MI-2 SMEs, which already is almost more interesting than the larger Mi-8 SMEs. So all that stuff needs to registration.

The airline will complete logical chain: the engine — helicopter — a service. The objectives of the "Orsha Air" will include demonstration and commercial flights. Helicopter companies in Belarus is not, and people who are willing to pay for their use — is that there is not talked about.

Future plans for investors to take "nebolbasovskie" scale. On the territory of the aircraft repair plant later this year will open a logistics center for truckers. Then, in the work of the center will be used is still empty, but contained in a suitable state of the runway. And then — summing rail.

Here’s what the active ai
rcraft repair plant operates near Orsha.

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