General on Alligators

General on Alligators

Hera Rossii Sergey Mikheyev and his helicopters with difficult destiny.

At the end of December, 2013 75 years to Sergey Viktorovich Mikheyev – to the person who kept unique design school of design of coaxial helicopters were executed. Such rotary-wing aircrafts will dominate in the sky of the XXI century.

Date celebrated modestly. The hero of the anniversary did not receive any high state awards relying in such cases. Mass media also did not give special attention to the founder of fighting helicopters. And after all Mikheyev – the unique General designer of helicopters in present Russia.

Authority general and their status exactly today try to lift on the highest level. And if to speak about S. V. Mikheyev, would give it as to a genkonstruktor, still in the nineties the XX centuries a full freedom of action and the corresponding financing, then today Russia would dictate a fashion and demand in the world market of helicopters.

Sergey Viktorovich in Khabarovsk was born on December 22, 1938. The early childhood and study passed in school in the Far East and Far North. From school graduated in Anadyr in 1956. In the House of pioneers was fond of aircraft modeling. In those days in the remote places of the USSR it was possible to move, generally by means of aircraft, and as father Mikheyev several times translated on office affairs, to be flown in the childhood it was necessary enough. And Sergey resolved to become an aircraft designer.

Already receipt in institute showed that adult life easy will not be, but young Mikheyev understood also that it is possible to break any stagnancy and to break through any bureaucracy.

In MAI documents at it refused to accept, having declared that places in a hostel are not present, and in general, references are necessary to graduates of northern schools that they really arrived from far-away countries, instead of from near Moscow area. Sergey did not despair and CPSU Central Committee went in …. It was necessary to occupy turn in three mornings as to a reception of the highest party structure daily came with complaints of one thousand people. Mikheyev accepted, attentively listened, right there called in the Ministry of Education and in a selection committee of institute. The call from the Central Committee solved a problem at once – documents took, though a hostel did not give. So, by the way: after all was where to complain in those days even to yesterday’s school students that you heard …

It handed over entrance examinations easily because studied very well. Competition in MAI in 1956 was 8 people into place, but the gathered points sufficed for transfer.

Of Vertoletostroyeny Sergey Mikheyev was fond on last years of institute. The degree project wrote on the heavy four-screw helicopter crane. It was protected in experimental design bureau which N.I.Kamov directed, it personally was present on protection. Then the oldest Soviet designer of helicopters paid attention to the talented graduate of MAI: Mikheyev took in experimental design bureau without problems, and it plunged at once into the most interesting work. Moreover, soon the young specialist received the separate apartment as married at institute, and his spouse too came to work to the experimental design bureau which were in the region of a platform Ukhtomsky, at once for MKAD. Fifty years ago it was in the nature of things: the design office gave to the workers of the apartment.

The relations with N.I.Kamov developed differently: from the most confidential to the almost hostile. And nevertheless Kamov appreciated the time of unduly active designer. After death of the founder of experimental design bureau to which appropriated Kamov’s name, the new head chose long. Those years selection was multistage, the ministry of the aviation industry, both the military-industrial commission, and defensive department of the Central Committee of CPSU participated in it also.

At the end of 1973, in 35 years, S. V. Mikheyev was appointed the chief designer of experimental design bureau of a name of N.I.Kamov and, at the same time, Ukhtomsky’s director of helicopter plant. The youngest head of such level in the Soviet Union.

However, Alexey Shakhurin became the people’s commissar of the aviation industry in January, 1940 in incomplete 36 years.

In the eighties the experimental design bureau which Mikheyev directed, on creative plans and the realized projects objectively became the leader in the world. In the USSR it very much was not pleasant to someone. After all there was an accurate way: practically all park of helicopters of the country are the cars created in experimental design bureau of a name of M.L.Milya, and very narrow sea niche was allocated for "kamovets". And here it becomes clear that in experimental design bureau of a name of N.I.Kamov can create all range of helicopters: fighting and civil, capable equally effectively to work both over the earth, and over water. Intrigued against "kamovets" throughout all the eightieth very actively and sophisticated.

Nevertheless, into the ninetieth collective under Mikheyev rushed at peak of the creative lifting. It seemed, for them unsoluble tasks did not exist. But it was necessary to pay for any work. And than it was possible to pay, when the country began to drive mladoreformator? Someone then managed everything, and to someone – anything.

Abramovich, as we know, received actually simply so, the multi-billion condition, and remains in the history as the owner of free wealth, smart palaces, foreign football clubs, pathos personal yachts. Receive the same money Mikheyev – and our state would be included into history as the homeland of the most proryvny rotary-wing aircrafts of a new eyelid. But the history cannot be turned back therefore we will simply remember those cars which with Sergey Mikheyev’s most active participation introduced or tried to introduce the past forty years – so much time this person directed creation of coaxial cars.

Now vertoletostroitel of the whole world face a choice of the concept of new generation of gelikopter. They should be supermaneuverable, rather high-speed, dolgoletayushchy and possess considerable loading capacity. Fully only the coaxial scheme of rigid bearing screws can provide such characteristics. Aerodynamics laws are that.

The coaxial scheme of a gelikopter was drawn once still by Leonardo da Vinci. However to realize it in practice it appeared so technologically difficult that was possible to make it to only Soviet experts, and that because the state assumed huge financial expenses. Especially it is surprising and unnatural that within the country expansion of scope of coaxial helicopters was administratively braked – and it at huge, I will repeat, financial support.

For coaxial cars allocated a modest role of the helicopters, capable to be based on the ships. There was one economic – Ka-26 who worked in agriculture and even there was «on arms» GAI. This helicopter very much loved, but also he in a directive way adhered in mass production. All, so to speak, state sympathies were given to classical helicopters which were projected in CB which M.L.Mil directed.

By the way, in the history of Ka-26 there are little-known, but indicative facts. In the USSR aviaofficials "pressed" this car, as soon as could. The argument was one: by the helicopter the low-power piston engine is established. But others – then at us were not! Despite "backwardness", in 1970 Ka-26 became the first domestic helicopter which has received the certificate of type on the American standards of the flight validity of FAR-29. Also remained the first 25 years.

Ka-26 it was delivered to the USA, Germany, Sweden, Japan, to all countries of socialist commonwealth. In total 816 rotary-wing aircrafts of Ka-26 were let out. In 1976, contrary to a huge market demand, a mass production of Ka-26 in a directive way stopped.

To experimental design bureau independently carried out car modernization, established on it the gas-turbine engine. But in our country of a place to the new helicopter was not. In 1984 the intergovernmental agreement between the USSR and Romania about the organization of a mass production of helicopters was signed with the gas-turbine Ka-126 engine at the air enterprise in the city of Brashov. By 1991 constructed fourteen Ka-126 helicopters which characteristics for that time were magnificent.

With disintegration of the USSR production of the best in the world in the class of easy helicopters stopped. Romanians were not able to support high aviation technologies without the aid of our experts. And our sat down on short rations.

At the beginning of September, 1997 test pilot Vladimir Lavrov lifted for the first time in the Ka-226 air created with the most active participation of Sergey Mikheyev. It was the Russian and very successful realization of the ideas put in "Soviet-Romanian" Ka-126. The helicopter took place thanks to active support of the Ministry of Emergency Situations which S.K.Shoygu then directed. Probably, it is not casual onboard first Ka-226 "Seryoga" was traced. In honor of whom, Sergey Mikheyev or Sergey Shoygu, remained a firm secret. By the way, S. Mikheyev became the chief first in domestic aircraft industry who began to give to the cars proper names.

After country disorder the aviation industry of the former USSR appeared in an emergency. The only thing where our country kept leadership, long time was a vertoletostroyeniye. Unfortunately, to use a world priority and to sate the market with the most high-speed and most load-lifting helicopters which would be out of competition, it was not possible. Moreover, in the ninetieth Kamov firm where only also were able to do coaxial cars, had every chance to go bankrupt and forever to disappear. It remained only because her president and, the main thing, the General designer in the heaviest for the country and branch the period appeared Sergey Viktorovich.

Still in the early seventies the CB which Nikolay Ilyich Kamov then directed, was ready to start design of the Ka-35D helicopter, capable to transport to 100 people with speed of 500 km/h. Serial release unusual even cars could begin today really in 1980. Further it was planned to create a rotary-wing aircraft which could transport already 200 people with speed of 600 km/h. It were no imaginations, and the reasonable and well counted projects. It did not develop.

But it was possible to create the most powerful shock helicopter in the world works over which began in 1977 – Ka-50.

In it «the flying tank» for the first time in domestic aircraft industry composite materials, the metalplastic bearings, many other technological know-how were widely applied. It was and remained the only thing in the world by single fighting helicopter. The unusual name – «A black shark» was appropriated to it. The car the profile is really similar to the sea predator. The name appeared successful, and idea very attractive – since the beginning of the ninetieth to all new samples of military equipment tried to appropriate proper names.

Ka-50 became the proryvny project in everything. But the generals of the Air Force defining shape of helicopters of the future for army aircraft, appeared, to put it mildly, reactionaries. However, hearings went to the ninetieth that generals simply "bought". Interestingly – who? Anyway, but «A black shark» really "drowned", using an administrative resource. Main "lack" of Ka-50 declared that the helicopter was piloted by one person. In it generals saw a big shortcoming. And after all, according to many, the future behind the robotized fighting complexes.

On Ka-50 it is possible and it was necessary to fulfill the maximum automation of management by car, and also that now is called as a setetsentrizm. «The black shark» allowed the pilot to see all group of the helicopters solving a fighting problem on the screen of the onboard display, to exchange with them information and, in case of need, to operate group. Analogs was not not only in Russia, but also in the USA. Ka-50, the decision of president Boris Yeltsin, took advantage in 1995. But even omnipotent "tsar Boris" appeared is powerless against «a helicopter mafia», safely remained and removed from the USSR to the Russian Federation. In armies terrible and taken advantage «The black shark» did not arrive. To deliver to Mi-28H steel «Night hunter» which had no neither an onboard radar, nor normal systems of night vision and on arms it was accepted only at the end of last year.

"Kamovtsev" forced to do double Ka-52. The collective which Sergey Mikheyev directed, and excellent consulted with this task. To stop progress it is impossible. And in armies fine Ka-52 "Alligator", at last, arrives – it has both a radar, and complexes of active protection, both magnificent avionics, and powerful arms, is capable to work in system of setetsentrichesky management with an air and land battlefield. It is the best fighting helicopter in the world. Though single "shark" was more bright …

The ship Ka-52K option which will be based on Russian "Mistrals" is now created.

Frenchmen, having familiarized even with overland option of "Alligator", became despondent: their ship rotary-wing cars appeared much worse.

The past twenty years the Kamov firm which until recently Sergey Mikheyev individually directed, on each air show MAX showed either new helicopters, or new concepts. Seven years ago – as time quickly flies! – on MAX-2007 presented a concept project of high-speed Ka-92. It was break in a world vertoletostroyeniye. On MAX-2009 even more original and perspective concept – Ka-102 was shown.

What from itself represented these cars? Ka-92 could gather speed of 450 km/h, fly on range of nearly 1500 kilometers and transport about thirty people. Actually, it was the improved An-2 option to which the airfield was not required. Ka-102 should fly on the same distance, but with speed of 500 km/h and transport to ninety passengers. It was proryvny and, the main thing, technically counted projects. On their realization about ten years were required. That is, if state officials decided on priorities, that, having started in 2010 two projects, in 2020 Russia would have two helicopters best in the world. If started in the 2007th, in three-four years our country would dominate in the world helicopter market. To whom helicopters slow movers if there are the "planes", capable to sit down on the patch would be necessary? But – if and if …

In 2007 created holding «Helicopters of Russia» in which transferred assets of all vertoletostroitelny the companies. By the end of 2010 the holding consolidated controlling stakes of all domestic vertoletostroitelny plants and design offices. Hera Rossii, the academician, the winner of the Lenin and State award of Russia Sergey Viktorovich Mikheyev became, it is possible to tell, «the wedding general designer» whether all «Helicopters of Russia», whether the Kamov firm remains. To his opinion, of course, listen, but parade absolutely other people from the category of "successful" top managers nowadays order.

On helicopter salon «Helirasha 2013» was required to me consultation of the technical expert. On a platform of «Helicopters of Russia» the set young and by the form very active people with бэйджиками holding crowded. All of them appeared managers of a different significance value and zero technical competence. New, «creative managers» vertoletostroitelny industry of Russia, without having understood priorities, started the project with an English abbreviation of "RACHEL" that in transfer «The Russian perspective commercial helicopter» means. In Russian even more simply: PSV – «The perspective high-speed helicopter».

For anybody not a secret that any very not clear replacement of classical Mi-8/17 helicopters with more modern is planned. Naturally, all commercial priorities – to the intellectual remains of firm of "Miles". As flying laboratory for the high-speed helicopter it is planned to use Mi-24 who is known in armies under the informal name "Crocodile", including – for the mobility.

The set characteristics on PSV are as follows: passengers capacity – 23 person, range of flight – 900 km, cruiser speed – 360 km/h. Works should be complete by 2020, the project price 4 billion rubles. Compare it to the counted characteristics Ka-92 and Ka-102 …

There is no sense to oppose two vertoletostroitelny firms – milevsky and kamovsky. It once, during the Soviet, non-market period, Mikhail Leontyevich and Nikolay Ilyich sharply competed, creating the best products. Still in the eighties the XX centuries, having remained without really General designer, the firm bearing a name of the founder Mile, completely lost intellectual competition to the firm bearing a name of Kamov which the Soviet General designer Sergey Viktorovich Mikheyev directed still. And today there are only generalized «Helicopters of Russia»…

On one of Internet forums it was recently told: in comparison with managers of this holding managers of United Aircraft Corporation – geniuses. I will not argue. In OAK personally I met only competent people, even among managers. And in «Helicopters of Russia», alas …

Sergey Viktorovich Mikheyev – the professor of MAI, the Doctor of Engineering, the academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Hera Rossii, the winner of the most prestigious awards. By awards and ranks it is not offended. His professional authority is recognized around the world.

Question one: why not it, the General designer, defines the future of the vertoletostroitelny industry of Russia?

And to what then all pathos about a raising of authority of general designers? The answer is not present, and in this concrete case, seemingly, will not be.

Sergey Serov

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