What will give Russia a new light aircraft "Baikal"

The day before, the domestic press exploded with joyful reports about the beginning of the revival of Russian small aircraft. The information occasion was the first successful flight of the light aircraft LMS-901 "Baikal", designed to replace the old Soviet "Kukuruznik" that was put into circulation. News, certainly positive, but will the long-awaited successor An-2 solve all the accumulated problems of our regional aviation?

Is there a need at all today, when there are modern short-, medium- and long-haul liners, for a small single-engine aircraft designed to carry only 9 people?

Yes I need it. Air transportation is indispensable in the vast expanses of the Russian North and Far East, where numerous small settlements are scattered. In the same Yakutia, for example, there are about 40 small airfields. The "Superjet" has nothing to do there at all, even a helicopter to drive and maintain such distances may not be very effective. Reliable and low-cost air service is also needed by the oil and gas sector operating in the Arctic zone. Such very specific operating conditions require special characteristics from aircraft.

In particular, it must be indestructible. A reliable design combined with an economical piston engine should ensure its operation in the most extreme climatic zones, on unprepared airfields, or even without them at all. An aircraft for small aircraft needs a simple and relatively inexpensive one, which can be repaired with a “sledgehammer” right in the field. The ideal solution at the time was the Soviet biplane An-2. "Kukuruznikov" was produced a record number - over 18 thousand, and some of them are still successfully operated. Alas, even their resource is not endless, the need to replace the An-2 is long overdue. It is with the successor of "Kukuruznik" that this story is connected, in which the main problems of the domestic aircraft industry appeared.

Two An-2 successors

SibNIA im. S. A. Chaplygin, who presented several modifications of the turboprop biplane TVS-2DTS. The aircraft widely used composite materials, the cruising speed was 350 km/h, the payload was 2450 kg (with a range of up to 450 km), the maximum flight range was 4500 km, and the cost was about 150 million rubles. His experimental version of the TVS-2MS "Partizan" performed real miracles, making ultra-short takeoffs and almost hovering in the air at low altitudes. The plane was supposed to be produced in Ulan-Ude.

Unfortunately, last year the Ministry of Industry and Trade abandoned this curious project in favor of the LMS-901 Baikal. The reason was that TVS-2DTS used too many imported composites, which could become a problem under the sanctions, but the most important thing is the American Honeywell TPE331-12UAN turboprop engine with a capacity of 1100 hp. s., which SibNIA could not find analogues in Russia.

The Ural Civil Aviation Plant (UZGA) presented an aircraft with similar characteristics: takeoff weight of 4800 kg, cruising speed of 300 km/h, flight range of at least 1500 km with a load of 2 tons, passenger capacity of 9 people. The cost is expected at the level of 120 million. Serial production is scheduled to begin in 2024 in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. On the eve of "Baikal" made its first flight, which lasted 25 minutes.

Why was Baikal able to defeat Partizan? It is generally accepted that due to the lower level of use of imported components. However, this is not entirely true: now the Russian LMS-901 flies with a foreign General Electric H80-200 engine. It is simply amazing how in a country designing a heavy-duty PD-35, there was no piston of its own. Baikal was lucky only in the fact that domestic designers promised to adapt the VK-800 power plant for it.

By and large, the “plug” is precisely in the aircraft engine. Does this mean that, having received a new "old" engine, Russian small aircraft will get a second wind?

Alas, this is not entirely true. By themselves, light multi-purpose aircraft will not be enough, you need someone to fly them. Domestic air transportation has long been experiencing a serious shortage of personnel. Truly experienced civil aviation pilots often prefer to go to foreign companies, where conditions are better for them. And here, imagine, they will be offered a “tempting” option to work in small aviation in the Far North or the Far East, dangling between several God-forgotten settlements.

Professional personnel is a very big problem in modern Russia, and not only in aviation. But as for the small one, perhaps it is worth turning to the American experience, when a pilot's license can be obtained in just six months or a year? Of course, after such courses they will not be allowed to manage the Boeing, but the light Baikal is completely.
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  1. Alexander Klevtsov (alexander klevtsov) 1 February 2022 14: 59
    Capacity 9 people, who will fly on it, they can’t do anything at all ....
  2. Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 1 February 2022 15: 54
    All right. Biplanes were abandoned en masse before 2 mv.
    and 2 tons per 1500 km, better than 450
    At VO pimsley, among amers, pilot training is easily put on stream, precisely because of the large number of small (private) aircraft and airfields

    Our "swifts" said that every weekend there is somewhere, and an air parade, they used to fly to perform ...
    1. Boa kaa Offline Boa kaa
      Boa kaa (Alexander) 2 February 2022 20: 34
      Quote: Sergey Latyshev
      amers have pilot training put on stream easily,

      Why look at the Yankees? -- Wouldn't it be better to remember your own experience: OSOAVIAKHIM was called! In the 30s, all young people dreamed of joining an flying club or skydiving ... Therefore, the Soviet aviation had a colossal reserve ... and civil aviation developed because. frames were. Having initial flight training, it was possible to raise a Stalinist falcon, an extra-class pilot, from a chick. I am sure that the Soviet experience should still work for modern Russia.
      1. Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 2 February 2022 21: 48
        Absolutely right.
        It's just that there was an article about amers recently on VO, so I remembered it.
      2. Marzhecki Online Marzhecki
        Marzhecki (Sergei) 5 February 2022 08: 29
        I am sure that the Soviet experience should still work for modern Russia.

        In the modern Russian Federation, the Soviet is usually not popular, the general line is this: like, everything was contrary to that then. Contrary to the educational program, contrary to the GOELRO program, contrary to industrialization, contrary to the NVP and OSOAVIAKHIM, contrary to the Commander-in-Chief, etc.
        But right now everything just "flies" ...
  3. Shelest2000 Offline Shelest2000
    Shelest2000 1 February 2022 19: 37
    It turned out something like Cessna Caravan. Well, God bless...
  4. Jacques sekavar Offline Jacques sekavar
    Jacques sekavar (Jacques Sekavar) 2 February 2022 01: 37
    Therefore, the An-2 was a success because it was technically, economically balanced, and maintainable in the field conditions of the collective farm MTS. The lobbied replacement is similar in characteristics to short-haul ones, and in terms of capacity it is similar to local ones. And there is no need to talk about maintainability in the field.
    It was easier to install a new motor, as they did on TVS-2MS. They would buy a license in China, the technology has been worked out and riveted hundreds a month.
    The airfield network is negligible, those that were overgrown with forests or built up with cottage settlements, since they were located on the outskirts of the settlements, had access roads and communications. It is necessary to build new ones and a lot, and this business also costs money.
    In modern realities, a Robinson-type helicopter would be more suitable for passenger transportation on local lines, and for cargo transportation in undeveloped regions there are Mi-eighths, Ansats, Ka, and new Ilys are on the way.
  5. Jacques sekavar Offline Jacques sekavar
    Jacques sekavar (Jacques Sekavar) 2 February 2022 02: 19
    And one more thing, not speed, carrying capacity, range are needed, but the volume of the cargo compartment. More and more products, various consumer goods, all kinds of cattle, etc. are being transported to remote villages. The weight is small but voluminous and large gates are needed to shove inside, a separate door into the cabin, otherwise you won’t get through sometimes.
  6. Jacques sekavar Offline Jacques sekavar
    Jacques sekavar (Jacques Sekavar) 2 February 2022 13: 45
    A delivery lorry is needed, not a luxury minivan
  7. Bulanov Offline Bulanov
    Bulanov (Vladimir) 2 February 2022 15: 33
    Why not continue to produce AN-2? They still produce "Niva" and "Loaf"!
    And to announce an all-Russian competition for the engine.
  8. gorskova.ir Offline gorskova.ir
    gorskova.ir (Irina Gorskova) 2 February 2022 19: 13
    I don't like this plane. Here are the first he is not able to plan like the An-2. This (about planning) I speak from my own experience. due to configuration. Secondly, it will NOT pay off. Let me remind you An-2 capacity - 10-12 people. and plus cargo. But you don't have to stop. I think we have enough craftsmen-inventors. And everything will work out.
    1. Marzhecki Online Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 3 February 2022 17: 11
      What if he was red? smile
  9. Traktorbekov Urulu (Maksim) 2 February 2022 22: 22
    It is necessary that the pilot on such lines earn decent money, be able to raise a family, and be provided with housing. Of course, the most ambitious will go further, but there will be someone to work on such lines.
  10. assault 2019 Offline assault 2019
    assault 2019 (assault 2019) 7 February 2022 23: 32
    But as for the small one, perhaps it is worth turning to the American experience, when a pilot's license can be obtained in just six months or a year? Of course, after such courses they will not be allowed to manage the Boeing, but the light Baikal is completely.

    So you need to read right now to train pilots for the new "Baikals" on the airlines of Siberia and the Far East from local guys on the basis of DOSAAF flying clubs.
  11. Jacques sekavar Offline Jacques sekavar
    Jacques sekavar (Jacques Sekavar) 15 February 2022 20: 52
    Aircraft are needed to deliver goods to thousands of remote settlements beyond the Ural Mountains with a population of about a hundred inhabitants and where there are no roads or landing sites and the construction of which is not economically feasible.
    Therefore, to replace the An-2, an extremely simple cheap one, and in the event of a hard landing and a field-repairable air lorry, is required to deliver goods from the transshipment base to settlements where distances are measured not in kilometers, but in transitions (days), such as cessna, piper, maule and similar to them without a bow strut and the ability to load a snowmobile or a couple of deer without tension.
    In view of the isolation of such settlements, it is important to be able to refuel without problems with what they have - gasoline, diesel fuel, everything that burns. Chairs instead of folding benches on the sides, the pursuit of speed, carrying capacity, range, equipping with autopilots, parachute systems and other bells and whistles of large cattle trucks look absolutely stupid on such devices. You look, and the cost of a flight hour will decrease from the declared 30, which will increase the availability of air transportation and allow you to “sew” the country, all the settlements not indicated on the map among themselves and with regional centers.
    It is equally important to simplify legislation and operational requirements, legalize private transportation, as is practiced in Alaska and the northern territories of Canada, and instead, small air carriers are being liquidated or consolidated and regional monopolies are being created.