Air
Man has no wings and his muscle weight to body weight
Proportion is 72 times smaller than a bird’s one,
but i believe man will fly through the power of his mind
not through the strength of muscles
Nikolai Zhukovsky

Since the beginning of time, man has wanted to fly. Not just to get a bird’s-eye view of the land, but to soar above the ordinary, to experience complete freedom.

Montgolfier brothers are the recognized inventors of the first aircraft. Nevertheless, numerous attempts were made before them, some of them in Ruthenia. Praying of Daniel the Immured, a 13th century Old Russian literary monument, features the following description: “...and another one flies from the church or high chambers on his silk wings”.

Aleksandr Deyneka. Nikitka – the first Russian to fly. 1940.

The most famous and beautiful legend is a story of Russian Icarus, a serf called Nikita Kryakutny, who allegedly flew with home-made wings from a chapel in Alexandrovskaya Sloboda, the tsar’s residence, which caused the tsar Ivan the Terrible to issue an edict punishing Nikita: “A man is no bird and has no wings. Anyone who attaches wooden wings is acting against nature, and the inventor is to be punished for this alliance with evil forces by decapitation, and the body of the accursed man, the stinking dog, is to be thrown to be eaten by pigs, and his invention is to be burnt after the sacred liturgy.

As time passed, medieval dreams came true. World aviation history began, with numerous Russian names in it. Pyotr Nesterov was the first to fly a loop and to perform air ramming in an air battle. Konstantin Artseulov was the first to go into a spin in his aeroplane and then recover successfully. Alexander Mozhaysky built a steam-engine aeroplane.

During the tests, Mozhaysky’s “air-flying apparatus”, equipped with all main elements of a modern aeroplane, namely an engine unit, a fuselage, a fixed wing, an empennage and an underframe, performed a run-out on an inclined platform and took off the ground, but after the take-off it lurched to the side and fell, breaking its wing. The imperfection of the engine prevented the aircraft from performing a continued controlled flight, but historians are still arguing if Mozhaysky’s aircraft was the first heavier-than-air aircraft (except for gliders) that became airborne with a man on board, and did so 20 years before the Wright brothers’ aeroplane.

In his steam-engine aeroplane, Alexander Mozhaysky included all the main elements of a modern plane: a glider with a wing, fuselage, an empennage and an underframe, a control circuit and an engine unit.

The crash decreased the interest of the military in Mozhaysky’s invention, and Russia lost its priority in this domain. However, after combustion engines spread around, Russia resumed an important position among aviation-pioneer countries. One of Russia’s major breakthroughs at the dawn of aviation was the creation of the first multi-engined aeroplane in the world, which paved the way for heavy flying machines. It was The Sikorsky Russky Vityaz.

This long tradition of aerospace innovation is alive and well in Russia under the tutelage of Rostec, the company that united all Russian manufacturing facilities into one company that is now advancing the aerospace industry through multiple avenues.

Under Rostec, key Russian manufacturers collaborated to launch the fifth generation fighter T-50 PAK FA.

The new fighter aircraft incorporates several technological breakthroughs that set it apart and uphold the Russian tradition of aeronautic innovation.

First and foremost, the T-50, which switches its identity between a fighter, an attack aircraft and a bomber, is not visible to enemy radar. This is especially amazing because its top speed is over 2,500 km/hour, which typically does away with any stealth capabilities.

Rostec’s enterprises are directly participating in creating the T-50 fighter. The United Engine Corporation engineers are developing the engine unit. Т-50 prototype is currently equipped with first-stage AL-41F1 engines. This aircraft two-rotor turbofan engine with an afterburner duct and a thrust-vectoring module. It enables the aeroplane to reach supersonic speed without resorting to the afterburner.

Another Rostec holding company, AO Teсhnodinamika, developed unique aircraft systems and accessories for T-50. Namely, a new direct current electrical generating system has been developed especially for the fighter aircraft. The system generates twice more power than existing Russian counterparts. Gas-turbine engine plasma ignition accessories have also been developed, which permits to start the engines during flight with no oxygen feed.

The fighter plane is equipped with a new system that feeds oxygen into the pilot’s breathing mask. This system has been developed by Research and Development Production Enterprise ‘Zvezda’. This equipment permits to obtain oxygen for breathing mixture right from the air during the flight. Thanks to that, the time of the flight will not depend on oxygen tank supply.

KRET (Radioelectronic technologies group) is developing a fundamentally new avionics system and an advanced position-radar station for the fighter plane T-50.
GRPZ (Ryazan State Instrument-making Enterprise), KRET.

Plane and helicopter flight deck transparency, aircraft on-board lights colour filters and airframe covers are developed by ‘RT-Chemical Technologies and Composite Materials’ experts. T-50 is the first Russian battle plane built with a high percentage of composite materials in its construction.

At the moment, the extent of polymeric composite material usage has become one of the key competitive advantages that take the new aircraft performance characteristics to a whole new level, impossible to reach with the metal usage.

The enterprises comprising ‘RT-Chemical Technologies and Composite Materials’ holding company have been developing composite materials production and products technologies since the 1970s; today, many inventions are still know no equals in the world.

Apart from optical, electrical and X-ray control, the printed board undergo the visual control stage, which is no less important.
GRPZ, KRET

The T-50 can also attack and defend against enemies from a much greater distance than ever before. One of its key systems is an electronic warfare station; called Himalaya, which is developed by the Signal Radio Factory from Stavropol, part of Rostec’s Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET) group. The system uses the next generation radar with active phased array (APAR) that contains 1,526 transceiver modules, which provide greater detection range for the aircraft, multi-target tracking and missile applications.

KRET enterprises develop and produce components, systems and complexes for all types and configurations of military and civil aircraft made in Russia.
GRPZ, KRET

The T-50 can also feel when an enemy is watching. The plane features an entire range of active and passive radar and optical location stations, which are integrated into the body of the plane, performing the function of a "smart skin.” This not only improves the immunity and vitality of the aircraft, but also to a large extent neutralizes technologies that reduce identification of enemy aircraft.

The aircraft can also receive guidance from space, thanks to KRET’s BINS-SP2M, which autonomously handles navigation and flight information, determines coordinates and motion parameters in the absence of satellite navigation and provides integration with the Russian military constellation and GLONASS satellites. Deep integration of BINS-SP2M with space systems makes the T-50 more effective during combat that requires uniting air, land and naval forces into a single network.

Guaranteed life limit of a Platformless Inertial Navigation System SP-2M is no less than 10,000 hours, which is almost twice longer than those of foreign counterparts. The system’s deep integration with other aircraft systems makes Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK FA) more efficient when a union of air, land and sea forces into a single network is needed.

Rostec goes beyond military aircraft manufacturing. Its enterprises also produce products for the needs of civil aviation. In such a way the titanium giant VSMPO-AVISMA has turned into the leading partner of the largest aircraft manufacturing companies in the world today. The corporation provides more than 30% of required titanium on the world’s market, so practically Russia takes part in producing of every plane manufactured in Europe and America.

Most airplanes today run on titanium parts manufactured by Rostec’s VSMPO-AVISMA, which controls more than 30 percent of the world market for this coveted alloy.
And thanks to the company’s innovation in developing a new titanium product that is stronger and lighter than previously believed possible, that is unlikely to change.
The new alloy was developed as part of a 30-year-partnership with Boeing and is a key component in the Boeing Corp.’s Dreamliner.

It’s no accident that Boeing is a customer. While VSMPO-AVISMA sells to all major aircraft manufacturers around the globe — including Airbus, Bombardier, Embratel — with Boeing it has a Russia-based research joint venture that encompasses all stages of product development.

VSMPO-AVISMA has been in close cooperation with one of leaders of civil aircraft construction — the American company Boeing. The principal direction of this partnership is the delivery of Russian titanium production for Boeing 737, Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 programs.

In recent years Boeing and VSMPO-AVISMA have developed several new technologies in a joint innovative center. One of them — a high-strength titanium alloy of Ti5553 which makes a considerable fuel economy cut due to weight reduction of the aircraft, which also increases the safety of air transportation and makes a good impact on ecology. It is used in details of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane and will be used in other programs in the future. The collaborative work is also being carried out to create new alloys which can be used for the needs of the Russian space industry.

VSMPO-AVISMA provides up to 40% of Boeing’s demand for titanium. Today, the Russian and the American companies continue working on joint projects of developing new alloys and technologies.
VSMPO-AVISMA, Verkhnyaya Salda

Rostec’s leadership in aerospace innovation is not limited to fixed-wing aircraft. It also is a global leader in the manufacturing of helicopters.

A helicopter is something Russians by right consider their own invention. While the best known inventor of the functioning helicopter prototype is Igor Sikorsky, he was one of many Russians trying to build an aircraft that would fly vertically using rotary wings.

In fact, the first prototype of a helicopter was unveiled by Russia’s great scientist and Moscow State University founder Mikhail Lomonosov at a hearing in St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences in 1754 — more than 250 years ago.

So it hardly comes as a surprise that one of the best known helicopters in the world is the Russian Mi-series heavy helicopter, which is manufactured by Rostec’s Russian Helicopters.

Russian Helicopters is a world leader, capable of providing an integrated approach to the creation of the aircrafts, from design, manufacturing and testing to the maintenance of modern civilian and military helicopters. The company is successfully working in the segments of medium heavy lift, super heavy and combat helicopters. In its 50 years, the company has produced more than 12,000 helicopters that are used in more than 100 countries worldwide.

There are more than 100 modifications of the Mi helicopter. They are used for cargo transport, servicing the oil and gas industry, ambulance rescue, air patrol, rescue operations, VIP transportation, the military and many other things.

The Mi-8’s military service deserves a separate mention. The helicopter has undergone real-life testing in hot spots around the world. However, it was its combat experience in Afghanistan that allowed Russian Helicopters’ engineers to make significant improvements in the design, by adapting the machine for trouble-free operation at high temperatures, through sandstorms and at high altitudes. Those innovations were hard to match. Americans bought a batch of new Mi-17V-5 (which is the export version of modern Mi-8MTV-5) to lay a foundation for Afghanistan Air Force revival. American and Afghanistan military admitted that Mi-17 was the optimal helicopter best suited for the environment of the area.

This is a panoramic video. Move the camera holding down the mouse button. In this production unit, legendary Mi-8/17 rotary-wing machines are assembled.
KVZ, Russian Helicopters

The newest version of the legendary helicopter, Mi-171A2, combines a considerable Mi-8/17-type helicopter operation experience and fresh design solutions. Making more than a hundred modifications in the helicopter construction, the Helicopters of Russia developers considerably ameliorated aircraft performance characteristics, increased its economic efficiency and widened its function range. According to the experts, Mi-171A2 may become the most efficient version of the glorified family. Today, the new version is undergoing flight tests.

Kazan Helicopter Plant (KVZ), which is part of Helicopters of Russia holding company, has already produced thousands of Mi-8/17-type helicopters that are operated in more than 100 countries in the world. Mi-38 helicopter is being prepared for production. Since 1997, the Kazan Helicopter Plant has held a certificate in development of helicopters. Today, the Plant provides batch production of a light multipurpose helicopter Ansat, which is one of the most demanded among helicopters with cargo capacity up to 1.5 tons. Ansat has the most capacious cargo-passenger cabin for its type, which is an unarguable advantage for a helicopter that can be used both for passenger (VIP included) and cargo flights, as well as for search and rescue operations and medical evacuations.

Ansat is a light two-engine gas-turbine multipurpose helicopter with 7 to 9 seat capacity. Its design is the classic one-rotor one, with a control rotor.
KVZ, Russian Helicopters

The machine provides automatic operation mode and manual mode, in simple and rough weather conditions. Ansat is reliable and easy in operation. It can be used in various climates and within a large temperature range, both below and above zero. It doesn’t need an shed. Ansat-U version is a training helicopter used for training helicopter crews.

As great of a helicopter as the Mi series is, Rostec continues to innovate with this type of aircraft. A lot of work has been put into new military helicopters, which are designed to be more agile and high tech than ever before.

Representative of this effort is the Ka-52 «Alligator» — a reconnaissance and combat all-weather helicopter that can operate during the day and in the dark with equal ease and efficiency. The helicopter is equipped with a powerful offensive weapons system designed to destroy armored ground targets, enemy personnel and low-speed air targets during battle and behind enemy lines. It can also complete reconnaissance tasks and lead groups of other combat attack helicopters.

Ka-52’s high performance characteristics are achieved in part through the coaxial arrangement of blades that allow the helicopter to maneuver quickly in a limited space in order to take an advantageous attacking position.

The Ka-52 is also equipped with special avionics equipment that allows pilots to operate it relying on heat signatures, infrared imaging and visual radar information. This makes it a perfect reconnaissance aircraft as it can effectively fly in the dark, bad weather and other near zero visibility conditions.

It is also equipped with two VK-2500 gas turbine engines that allow it to rise to altitudes above 5,000 meters. The engines are designed by another Rostec company, United Engine Corporation, whose story also begins at the very dawn of aeronautic era.

When it comes to jet propulsion, Rostec’s lineage comes from its 19th Century forefathers.

In 1867, a retired artillery officer, Nikolai Teleshov, patented an invention called the «Enhanced Aeronautic System.» A deltoid-shaped airplane with a wing sweep angle of 45 degrees, it was supposed to be equipped with an air-breathing jet pulsing engine. In reality, Teleshov built the first prototype of the modern jet engine.

Rostec’s United Engine Corporation is building on these and other patents and inventions though its subsidiary, Scientific-Production Association Saturn.

It is an engine-building company that specializes in the design, manufacture and servicing of gas turbine engines for military and civil aviation, Navy ships, power generation and gas pumping units.

Together, Saturn and Snecma have implemented the “Sam146 Programme,” a partnership for building a world-class jet engine together. Saturn is responsible for the design, manufacturing and testing of parts of the low pressure circuit. It is also responsible for assembling and equipping the engine, for carrying out ground tests and sending Sam146 engines to customers. Snecma is responsible for designing and manufacturing the high pressure parts, overall leadership in the development and integration of engine systems, as well as for test flights of the engine and for ensuring the integration of the engine with the aircraft.

Rostec’s Development Strategy until 2025 takes into consideration the constant increase in requirements of the leading "smart" markets, such as markets of electronics, telecommunication equipment and of the new generation telecommunication networks.

One of the advanced solutions in this field is “Angara” telecommunication network. This is a pilot project that combines supercomputer resources to solve extremely difficult calculation problems (up to 32 thousand systems of varied productivity). The network can concentrate significant computational power to process large volumes of data (analysis, events forecasts, complicated engineering). The network adapter (plate) in its core is based on the very large-scale integration (VLSI) ES8430, developed in Russia.

In the electronics sector, the key direction will be a transition towards the concept of at first, a more and then a completely electric airplane. These solutions are being developed by Technodinamika Holding company. Its new electric drive for aircraft’s landing wheels will allow a plane to move along the airside without the use of either main engines or pushback tugs. This prototype will serve to test the future electric plane’s crucial elements — supercondensers.

Another focus area is the development of unmanned apparatus. Kalashnikov Concern has created the biggest Russian electrically-powered unpiloted aircraft ZALA 421-16Е5. This advanced machine is practically unnoticeable in the air and is barely audible. It can be launched from and landed onto an unprepared terrain. An improved control system can adjust camera’s position to reach effective target location without the help of the operator.

In 2016, UIMC holding company will finish its trials of unmanned reconnaissance small-class aircraft “Korsar” (capable of conducting reconnaissance in the radius of 100-200 km), after which the machine will go into production.

Further perfection of its cutting-edge technologies will help Russia strengthen its advantages on the global market. The scale and ambition of the goals set out in the Development Strategy until 2025, mean the reformation of Rostec itself will be their necessary condition. It is clear that the outer changes are impossible without the inner ones. A thorough internal reorganization is underway. The headquarters are being downsized, a big part of the operations coordination is being handled to the holding companies, the number of business and scientific community representatives on the managing board is increasing. Rostec is switching its corporate government system to market principles.