25 June 2024, Tuesday, 6:25
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Roman Svitan: Belarusian Osvei Is Just Winged Barn

Roman Svitan: Belarusian Osvei Is Just Winged Barn

The joint project of Belarus and the Russian Federation will not be in demand.

Belarus and Russia are preparing to produce a joint Osvei light turboprop aircraft. It will be assembled in Baranavichy and it's based on developments of the Ural Civil Aviation Plant.

Do Russia and Belarus have the opportunity to create their own aircraft? Charter97.org addressed this question to the pilot-instructor and reserve colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Roman Svitan:

— This is a mid-size aircraft that can lift up to 20 passengers. Level of Czech L-410. In general, it is not very difficult to create such an aircraft.

Here the question is in its operation. It will not enter the world markets in any way: the segment is very tightly packed with manufacturers. Their prices vary around $5 million. The market segment where it is used is very narrow.

Yes, Russia can use such an aircraft at some distances, it is profitable for them. Belarus does not really need this aircraft: it is a small country, and it makes no sense to use it on international flights. During this time, you can quickly "fly" by car from one point to another than tinkering with the landing of the aircraft and disembarkation of passengers. This is irrational for Belarus.

For such aircraft, you need a space of up to 1000 kilometers — Russia or China, but they have their own aircraft. China is unlikely to let the Osvei into its market.

I emphasize that this is more of a civilian or technical aircraft, not a military one. Therefore, in general, there is a prospect, but only with a tie to the Russian market. If the Russian Federation does not order, then this project is utopian in the sense of implementation.

— The aircraft will have a VK-800 engine, which has been under development since 1998, but has not yet been installed on any aircraft. Does this engine even exist in nature?

— Yes, the Russians have a problem with "engines". They couldn't bring any engine to mind. I think that in the case of Osvei it will not be otherwise.

In Ukraine, there was the Zaporizhzhia plant for the production of aircraft engines, as well as enterprises in Kharkiv and Kyiv, where engines were produced for decades. The Czechs bought them and put them on their crafts. Russia also did not launch the same Ka-52 engines, even for helicopters. Their engines just "fly".

By the way, in this situation, you need to understand the segment. Any civil or technical aircraft is not a fighter. It does not have the highest requirements for technology.

Roughly speaking, it is a “barn with wings”. Building it is not a problem. Such a "barn" does not have large operational overloads, takeoff and landing, flight along the route — and that's all.

Even Russian enterprises can make such a "shed with wings", but, I repeat, there is a problem with engines. After all, this is a high-tech production, starting from machines and ending with the training of technical personnel. But here the problem is precisely with the high technologies of the Russians.

In general, yes, the project can be implemented, but only after the engines are produced. Or they were purchased, for example, from China, but they also have problems. Why did the Chinese want to "rob" the Ukrainian Zaporizhzhia Engine Plant. It is because of these technological moments that neither China nor Russia simply does not exist.

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