Russia has proved itself capable of creating the most complicated technical systems, the first flight of the fifth generation Su-57 fighter with the "30 Product" engine demonstrated this. The development of this engine not only became a major engineering victory, but also allowed us to say that Russia is overcoming one of the most negative tendencies of Soviet aircraft construction.
On Wednesday, the personnel of the first flight of the fifth generation Su-57 fighter (known as PAK FA and T-50) with the new "Type-30" engine (or "Product-30") were published. The flight lasted about a quarter of an hour on the eve of the chief-pilot of the firm "Sukhoi", test pilot, Hero of Russia Sergei Bogdan. It was reported that the flight was regular.
The engine "Type-30" for the Su-57 fighter is called a completely new development. He has many advantages, the main one of which is increased traction with reduced fuel consumption and new electronic systems.
As a result, engineers were able to increase the maneuverability of the aircraft. Thanks to this engine, the aircraft will be able to make long flights at supersonic speed without afterburner. It was the lack of a new modern engine that was one of the arguments of those who refused to call the Su-57 fighter a fifth-generation car.
Now the government is confident that a successful flight with a new engine "gives an additional impetus to the program of a fifth generation fighter." "This is proof of the high potential of the Russian aircraft industry, capable of creating highly intelligent advanced systems - a unique glider, innovative digital stuffing, the latest engines," the Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said on the eve.
What a new engine will help a new fighter
The first flight of Su-57 took place back in 2010 year, but then it happened with the engine of the "first stage" ("Product-117") - a modernized version of the AL-41F1S engine from the fourth generation Su-35S fighters. He was substantially inferior to his American counterparts.
The new engine, the "Product-30", was developed in cooperation of all the design bureaus of the United Engine-Building Corporation (UDK), in particular, the PPO "Saturn". At its creation engineers have applied not only new materials, but also technologies. As a result, a unique high-pressure compressor appeared.
One of the Russian know-how was the extremely complex design of the turbine blade. It was made of unique high-temperature nickel alloys. There was nothing like this in the engine of the first stage. In the American press, the local analog of the Russian engine was called "the pinnacle of engineering thought."
"It is the new engine that should accommodate the Su-57 aircraft in the declared characteristics, which make it a full fighter of the fifth generation," said Oleg Panteleev, an expert in the field of aircraft construction, executive director of the portal Aviaport.ru, in a comment to the newspaper VZGLYAD. The interlocutor explained: according to the parameters, firstly, the cruising supersonic in the non-coast mode and, secondly, the reduction in visibility in different ranges, the novelty gives serious advantages in comparison with the engine of the first stage.
Further factors such as increased specific indicators begin to work: specific gravity and specific traction - all this gives better characteristics from the point of view of what experts call "tyagovoruzhennostyu." "One of the main parameters that characterizes the technical perfection of the engine for a fighter is the ratio of its thrust to weight. Than this ratio is better, the aircraft as a whole is obtained with better characteristics, "explained Alexey Komarov, chairman of the editorial board of the magazine" Air Transport Review "in a comment to the newspaper VZGLYAD.
"This engine is different in that the coefficient of its usefulness should be higher, if you speak the philistine language," the expert said. - There are requirements for higher reliability, for a longer life cycle. The totality of these parameters characterizes the engine of a newer generation. "
Accordingly, increases maneuverability, there is the possibility to increase the payload and so on. For all the main characteristics, the product of the second stage is a significant step forward compared to the previous one, experts note.
Overcoming the negative tradition
According to experts, successful tests of the "Type-30" engine allow Russia to overcome the unfortunate tradition of the Soviet era. For example, when creating a strategic bomber M-50 designers did not manage to bring the turbojet engine M16-17 to the condition, so the tests were carried out with the engine VD-7, but at the beginning of the 1960 the project was closed ahead of schedule, as it did not show the required characteristics.
"Unfortunately, it was a bad tradition of Soviet times to underestimate the complexity of creating an aircraft engine," notes Oleg Panteleyev. "As a rule, we remembered that it was necessary to make a new engine, when the designers of the aircraft were already beginning to promise new characteristics to the customer. As a result, the "engines" were urgently pulled: they say that you can offer us, they pledged increased obligations. There were precedents when the projects did not take off because of the lack of a suitable engine, "Panteleev said.
Alexei Komarov agrees with this. "Before, very many characteristics of engines, materials, and so on were obtained as they were. That is, the designers were laying something, but there was a very important stage of refinement and improvement. And in some cases it was not possible to achieve those parameters that were asked during the design, "he said.
"Now the science of design has gone far ahead, it is based on powerful computer calculations and modeling," the source said. - And therefore, the degree of reliability of what will happen in relation to what the designers wanted to do is much higher. Therefore, I suppose that such failures can not be at this stage. "
"We still have a long time to work"
The first flight with a new engine is a very important stage, Komarov is sure. "The prototype is put to the engine after it has passed a sufficiently long test cycle both on ground stands and flying laboratories," the interlocutor stressed, adding that this is already a more serious prototype.
"The engine is one of the most important systems that require the largest investments in money and time," he explained. At the same time, it still has a long time to work before it is fully ready, Komarov pointed out.
"The combat unit, which is a frontal fighter, in addition to the glider includes elements associated with the weapons control system, engine, weapons system. Only when all these elements are worked out completely, we can say that the aircraft is fully consistent with the task that was put before the developers, - the expert stressed. "So far, at the testing stage, at the stage of development, different systems and subsystems, including the engine, may not yet meet the necessary parameters."
But "the first flight with a new engine brings the time of completion of the entire aircraft and weapons systems closer. In addition to the aircraft, these are also the aircraft escorts that are used for the first time on this car, and ground systems, diagnostic complexes, and so on, "Panteleev said.
"In general, for domestic VCS is the transition to a new stage. Now, from the engine's point of view, there is a certainty that all the characteristics will be at the highest level, "Panteleev summed up.