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    (Translated by Roy Cochrun)
    (Translating the Russian Aviation News for You since Spring, 2000)

    Highlights for the Week of 26 June 2011

  • Whither the NK-93?

  • Date Posted 30 June 2011

    Russia Will Begin Designing Aircraft Carrier in 2016

    The Unified Shipbuilding Corporation will begin the design and construction of an aircraft carrier for Russia’s navy from 2016, Lenta.RU reports the OSK president, Roman Trotsenko, announced, adding that “Russia needs aircraft carriers.” Earlier Russia’s vice premier, Sergey Ivanov, announced that the design and construction of aircraft carriers was not provided by the state arms program for 2011 – 2020. At the end of 2010, Russia’s defense minister, Anatoliy Serdyukov, also declared Russia does not plan to build aircraft carriers.

    In December 2010, Russian media referring to a source at the defense ministry were reporting that construction of four new aircraft carriers will begin before 2020. At the same time it was noted that work already was under way on the design documentation. Later a number of Russian officials refuted this information. At the same time, Ivanov noted that special attention will be devoted to “speeding up the production process” of submarines in the state arms program for 2011 – 2020, the amount of financing of which will be nearly 20 trillion rubles, .

    <>The first time it became known that Russia is designing a new aircraft carrier was in 2009. It was reported that one of the OSK enterprises is carrying out the work; however, it was not specified at which stage the project was. At the present time in the Russian navy’s inventory there is one aircraft carrier – the  heavy aircraft carrying cruiser “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov,” which was built under the project 1143.5 “Krechet” project in 1985. The ship is included in the Northern Fleet structure and serves as a base for 12 Ka-27 helicopters and 33 Su-33 ship-based fighters. 

    Source: 29.06.11, Avia.RU

    Date Posted 29 June 2011

    India Stops Purchase of Russian MiG-29 Fighters

    India’s defense ministry has adopted a decision to stop the buying program of Russian ship-based MiG-29K/KUB fighters, Defense News Reports.

    ((Rest of article snipped as it originally was published in English)).

     Source: 29.06.11, Lenta.RU

    Faster, Higher, Stronger


    Bench tests of the upgraded TV3-117VMA-SBM1V engine with which Russian air force helicopters will be equipped have ended in success, according to the chairman of a state commission, Vladislav Bruskov.   A prime feature is a system that established automated control at take off power from 2,500 to 2,800 horsepower, depending on the helicopter type.  The engine also has a service life expectation up to 4,000 hours.  While engines used today allow usage in ambient air temperatures up to 30 degrees Centigrade, this engines allows it to be used in ambient air temperatures up to 52 degrees centigrade.  The engine can be air started at altitudes up to 6,000 meters and it has operated up to 9,000 meters in an altitude chamber.

    The engine can be fitted to Mi-24, Mi-35, Mi-28, Ka-50, Ka-52, Mi-8, Ka-32 and Ka-27 helicopters. 

    Now flight tests must be performed in Russia.  It already has been tested on an Mi-24 and Mi-8MTV in Ukraine.  The Mi-8 reached 8,100 meters in 13 minutes and the Mi-24 reached 5,000 meters in 9 minutes, twice the normal rate of climb for these types of aircraft.

    Source: 28.06.11, OAO Motor Sich

    Date Posted 28 June 2011

    Aviatekh to Demonstrate L-42M Airplane at MAKS-2011

    OOO Aviatekh will demonstrate the L-42M amphibious airplane at the MAKS-2011 international air and space salon, the enterprise’s director, Matvey Shchelochkov has reported to AviaPort.

    Aviatekh will exhibit an L-42M airplane at the salon belonging to the enterprise. Moreover, the company has requested its customers to show their aircraft at the exhibition and one can expect the demonstration of several examples of the L-42M at MAKS-2011.

    It is planned to place the L-42M airplanes in the static display.

    The twin-engine L-42M amphibious airplane has been configured for four seats. The power plant consists of two Rotax-912ULS engines rated at 100 horsepower each. The propellers are Aeromaster.

    Source: 27.06.11, AviaPort.RU, Correspondent: Dmitriy Kozlov

    Chayka to Show Amphibious Airplane at MAKS-2011

    OOO The Chayka Airplane Building Company, who developed the L-42 and L-44 amphibious airplanes, will demonstrate its product on the static line of the MAKS-2011 international air and space salon, the enterprise’s general director, Dmitriy Grekhov, has reported to AviaPort.

    A final decision about what airplane it will be – the L-42 or the L-44 – still has not been made, he specified.

    Development of the four-seat L-42 airplane with two Rotax-92ULS engines has been underway since 2004. In June 2005, the airplane began flight tests which were concluded in September of that same year. In 2005 – 2009, the enterprise produced and upgrade L-42 airplanes. The total flying time of the airplanes produced is on the order of 5,000 hours. The design and makeup of the airplane’s equipment has somewhat changed during exploitation.

    In July 2009, the next modification – the L-44 airplane – was  lifted into the air with more powerful engines and expanded aircraft equipment.

    The L-42 is a twin-engine monoplane with a high wing and retractable three-point landing gear with a tail wheel. The airplane’s aerodynamic quality is exactly 15 at a wing loading of 65 kilograms per square meter, which allows having small takeoff speeds while preserving high cruise speed (200 kilometers per hour).

    The L-44 is a modification of the L-42 airplane. It is identical in its aerodynamics layout, distinguished by engine type and aircraft equipment. Rotax-914UL-2 engine rated at 115 horsepower each are being installed on the L-44. Inasmuch as the engine is more powerful and high-altitude, the operational ceiling (from 2,000 to 4,000 meters) and rate of climb have been increased, and the takeoff distance has been decreased. The capacity of the fuel tanks has risen from 240 to 320 liters, which has allowed increasing the airplane’s range to 1,600 kilometers.

    Source: 27.06.11, AviaPort.RU, Correspondent: Dmitriy Kozlov

    Date Posted 27 June 2011
    Nikolay Kuznetsov – A Celebration with Tears in the Eyes 


    ((This very long article appeared on a Web site called Argumenty Nedeli ((Arguments of the Week)).  My thanks to Sandeep Kumar for pointing it out to your friendly translator.))

    The Russian government does not intend to use the NK-93.  They think Kuznetsov engines are using out-dated technology, especially since NK-93 development ended 20 years ago.   However, when the engine was tested in-flight on a Tu-160 and an Il-76, it demonstrated performance in fuel consumption and power even better than the design specifications.

      According to the article, the Unified Engine Building Corporation general director, Andrey Reus, literally forced the general director of the Central Institute of Aviation Motors, Vladimir Skibin, to write and sign the only paper on-file saying the engine should not be further developed.  It seems Skibin wants to keep his job.

     There are three problems for future development and use of the NK-93:  1) where to find the money? 2) a base for completion of development as the government withdrew funding for the engine from the old location, and 3) to find 300 people who actually know something about the engine, as they all were forced out during various reorganizations.

     The first point of those wishing to use the NK-93 is that it is a good engine and development already has been paid for.  All that remains is to complete testing and certification, which would not cost very much.  They also go on to note that the United States is using the NK-33 developed 40 years ago for rocket launches and if Kuznetsov engines are good enough for the Americans, then they certainly should be good enough for the Russians.  Also, the Aehrosila firm in Stupino has been "spinning" various propfans from composites for the NK-93 without let-up, but skeptics have been criticizing the usage of such material for blades. Two factories had been ready to produce the NK-93 before development was halted.

    The second point is that the "new" engine would cost quite a bit more and not be available until much later than required.  The NK-93 cost 1.5 billion rubles to develop and the same amount, another 1.5 billion, is required to complete development and have it certified.  It will cost 80 billion rubles for the PD-14 ("future engine-14") to be developed and certified.  Using the funding required for the PD-14, Kuznetsov could build nearly 530 NK-93 in series.

    Source:  22.06.11, Argumenty Nedeli; Correspondent:  Vladimir Leonov

    Aviatekh to Create Experimental L-31 Seaplane

    OOO Aviatekh (Samara) plans to create the experimental L-31 seaplane, the enterprise’s director, Matvey Shchelochkov, reported to AviaPort.

    The creation of the L-31 is stipulated by the desire to assemble a small airplane for training its employees and there are rather many wishing so, M. Shchelochkov explained.

    At the present time an experimental airplane created with their own funds has been developed and is in production. It is planned to create a pure (not amphibian) seaplane. Since the airplane will have one motor (a Rotax engine rated at 100 horsepower) and three seats, it has been conferred the L-31 conditional designation. The wing already has been assembled and overall availability is 60 – 70 percent. The L-31 airplane may make first flight in September – October.

    If the innovation evokes buyer interest, the enterprise develop production of the L-31 seaplane according to the orders. The enterprise’s production facilities right now allow producing 6 – 7 airplanes a year, M. Shchelochkov added.

    OOO Aviatekh was created on 17 February 2009. The enterprise produced amphibious airplanes in low volume.

    Source: 24.06.11, AviaPort.RU, Correspondent: Dmitriy Kozlov

    First Upgraded Mi-2M to Be Demonstrated at MAKS-2011

    The Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant Joint Stock Company (MVZ) and the Rostvertol Joint Stock Company are concluding work on the creation of the first prototype of the upgraded Mi-2M helicopter and plan to demonstrate it at the MAKS-2011 international aerospace salon, the MVZ general designer, Aleksey Samusenko, reported to AviaPort.

    According to him, the creation of the upgraded Mi-2M helicopter is at the stage which allows demonstrating the first prototype at MAKS-2011.

    Instead of the GTD-350 engines, two AI-450 turboprops have been installed on the helicopter. It is natural that a telemetry system will be installed on board for subsequent flight tests of the helicopter, the general designer added.

    The Mi-2 upgraded in the first stage has received the Mi-2M designation. After that is supposed to come the Mi-2A, on which is envisioned “many other innovations, new assemblies and new avionics. If the first stage of the upgrade works out, then we will be holding onto in the country a class of helicopters weighing 3.5 tonnes until the time of the appears of new aircraft of the “Ansat” or Ka-226 type, A. Samusenko emphasized.

    In the second stage of the upgrade only the airframe will remain old, but it is a lot of work and it requires greater financing. For the time being MVZ and Rostvertol are performing all work on the upgrade of the Mi-2 at their own expense, the general designer noted.

    According to him, most likely the upgraded Mi-2M helicopter is important for users inasmuch as there simply are no cheap aircraft in this class. “I am convinced that the Mi-2M will be in demand,” A. Samusenko said.

    Source: 24.06.11, AviaPort.RU, Correspondent: Dmitriy Kozlov

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