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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Anatoly vovnyanko: the interest of the Chinese “Mriya” exaggerated and blown out of proportion

MS-21 – this is the next height, which was taken by the Russian aviation industry. This is the level of modern Western aircraft,” – said the newspaper VIEW of the Soviet and Ukrainian aircraft Anatoly vovnyanko, more than three decades directly involved in the creation of a family of Antonov aircraft. He commented on the problems of the Ukrainian aviation industry and was glad for the success of the Russian.

Ukrainian aviation group “Antonov”, which for decades was an integral part of Soviet (and indeed Russian) aircraft industry, promises in 2017, to attain absolute independence from Russian materials and components promoted by the new generation aircraft family “An”.

“The Ukrainian state enterprise officials are used as feeders, so nobody aktsionirovat”

“Next year we plan to complete the program importazioni Russian components, which began in the summer of 2015. Corresponding agreements were reached with suppliers from Europe, Canada, USA and Ukraine”, – said the President of the company Oleksandr Kotsyuba. “After this is serial production of new aircraft. Including will start construction of serial An-178”, – he assured.

Recently Antonov generates a huge stream of information events. With the Chinese agreed to build the world’s largest transport aircraft an-225 “Mriya”, which exists in single copy since the Soviet era. The Antonov threatens to ban flights of Russian An-124 abroad. In the company talk about the multi-billion dollar contracts for the supply of its aircraft abroad.

Did the Ukrainian aviation industry is indeed so widely spread its wings once severed all contracts with Russia? About what the real situation in the Ukrainian aviation industry in an interview with the newspaper LOOK told Anatoly vovnyanko, worked for many years in the “Antonov”. Aircraft now retired, but he still worried about the fate of the Ukrainian aviation industry.

In the 70-80-ies Anatoly vovnyanko managed to create new alloys and semi-finished products for aircraft An-124, in the ‘ 80s – the service of the leading designers of Antonov An-225 “Mriya”, from the late 80s till 2006 was Deputy chief designer of Antonov An-218, An-124, An-124-100, An-225, the An-325 and their modifications, as well as aerospace systems.

OPINION: do you think what is the interest of the Chinese to the famous Antonov An– 225 is? Maybe it contains technologies that are still unknown in China?

Anatoly vovnyanko almost three decades gave the airline “Antonov” and is very worried about the fate of the Ukrainian aviation industry (photo: from personal archive)

Anatoly vovnyanko: I’m almost 22 years doing this plane since its creation. It is not for the Chinese any interest in military or transport purposes, and here’s why. The an-225 was based on the An-124 to transport various missile and space launch vehicle, primarily for Orbiter “Buran”. The vehicle must be located on the external load of the upper part of the fuselage. Therefore, Mriya, unlike the An-124 is missing the rear cargo door. Load cargo through the front grusak. First, it is a very long process. Second, through it download basically the a single piece of cargo weight of large masses, which in the world. Because any monocargo weighing up to 130 tons safely transports An-124-100.

If to speak about the carriage of General cargo on pallets, trays and containers, and “Mriya” and “Ruslan” lose much of the special cargo aircraft, created on the basis of passenger aircraft such as Boeing-747. Their cost of transportation is much higher.

Now, if the user “Antonov” did not oversleep, when the U.S. created the aerospace system Strathallan”, then “dream” could be interesting. Because of these unique challenges and created this plane.

Technologies that could be of interest to the Chinese, either. The an-124 was created in the late 1970s – early 1980s years, and is the donor of all technologies for the An-225. In addition, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 90s, the Chinese on the cheap, have already bought everything they wanted. In 2009, I lectured in China and learned although they were concealed, and that the Chinese have already begun to create its own transport aircraft Y20. And they used many technical solutions of the Il-76. Also they had a lot of information on the aircraft C17, A400M and An-70, including the drawings. From the point of view of technology, these planes much more interesting, as it was created much later. While in China he worked as a specialist from the USA who participated in the design of the rear gruzolyukom C17. And with the Russians we met there. As I thought, they participated in the creation of the fighter.

Anatoly vovnyanko: “the interest of the Chinese “Mriya” exaggerated and blown out of proportion media. I do not exclude that they promised to the Chinese for this fake” (photo: Dmitry A. Mottl/wikipedia.org)

Therefore, the interest of the Chinese “Mriya” exaggerated and blown out of proportion media. Some unknown Chinese logistics firm signed a framework agreement with “Antonov”. This is done more for public relations, the management of “Antonov” have now become stars of the Ukrainian TV. I do not exclude that they promised to the Chinese for the fake. Who can remember what the country does not build planes.

The project looks unrealistic, it is economically feasible. This Chinese company will go bankrupt the next day as soon as I finish building the first plane. The cost and terms of even just the completion of the second aircraft well, very large, and even mass production – it’s all pure fiction. And what would be the costs of operating a single aircraft in China, which are all installed in a single instance? The Chinese in this respect are not stupid, unlike us.

OPINION: a Few years ago, even under Yanukovych, Russia offered Ukraine to establish a joint venture for the production of aircraft. Proposed share exchange. However, Ukraine refused – as I understand it, fearing absorption Antonov Russia. Were there other reasons for rejection, besides political?

AV: Who would have given the goose that lays the Golden eggs? Ukrainian state enterprise officials are used as feeders, so nobody aktsionirovat. Before Antonov brought in large revenues through the airline “Antonov Airlines”, extending the resources and upgrading of old aircraft, the contract with NATO for the use of aircraft An-124-100, engineering services, etc. for Example, Antonov helped the Chinese in building aircraft.

At that time Antonov “protected” Prime Minister under Yanukovych. The management of “Antonov” were sitting on large financial flows, and to remain at their posts and to steer these threads, it gave bribes to the Prime Minister and his entourage. (Prime Minister during the reign of Viktor Yanukovych, Mykola Azarov – ed. newspaper OPINION).

And in the Ministry of industrial policy, in which submission was an Antonov aircraft were engaged in the protege Azarov, the Deputy Minister of industrial policy Vladimir Ryzhov, who generally had no idea what aviation and corporatization. Then Dmitry Kiva (General designer and since 2008 the head of “Antonov” – approx. Newspapers OPINION) took him to himself, where he very well, a lot of money still rubbing his pants.

At the same time, the Ukrainian government did not defend the Ukrainian aviation interests in Russia. Ukraine, and in fact balabuev, created at the expense of own means of the aircraft An-140 and An-148, and free handed the documentation to Russia, where these aircraft began to mass-produce in Samara and Voronezh. However, if the “Superjet-100” was a huge financial and administrative support from the Russian authorities, the An-140 and An-148 were orphans. The Ukrainian government was to point to unequal conditions of competition, to achieve from the Russian government support, including budgetary, production and sales of leasing of An-140 and An-148.

Instead, Ukrainian officials with the filing of the Kiva just signed the fake reports on the resumption of production of aircraft An-124 and start of production of the An-70. While it was clear that this will never happen. After all, the Antonov an-140, An-148 and An-158 at 70% consists of Russian components, 99% of Russian materials and produced in Russia, and only Russia paid a royalty.

Look: the Ukrainian aviation industry was in deep crisis. Could Ukraine be held as an independent aviation power after the collapse of the Soviet Union?

AV: and she was held, when the position of chief designer was Petr balabuev Vasilievich (died in 2007 – approx. OPINION). With him during the square in Ukraine was designed by the Antonov an-38, along with Russia – Antonov An-70, An-140 and An-148. And because most of the Ukrainian aircraft produced in Russia, and this was the main market. Another thing is that after the change in 2005 the guidance “Antonov”, government officials had begun to use the company as a “trough” and a tool for public relations, the aviation industry in the country has declined.

OPINION: cooperation with Russia was still important for Ukraine?

A. Q. Yes, Ukrainian and Russian aircraft industry is like Siamese twins – two heads, and the “body” one. Moreover, the largest part of this body in Russia.

Ukrainian aviation industry took place also thanks to relations with Russia. All materials most of the equipment and components, and most importantly, the production and purchase of new planes is all mainly in Russia. Antonov even sell himself he could not: in recent years, sales of Ukrainian aircraft An-148 and An-158 was carried out through the Russian leasing company “Ilyushin Finans” Alexander Rubtsov.

Yes, and all Ukrainian planes An-38, an-70, An-140, An-148 – designed in the first place, for the Russian market. Aircraft an-140, An-148, An-158 was first commercialized in Ukraine, and then in cooperation produced in Russia. Since the beginning of 1990 to the beginning of 2005, Russia itself did not create new aircraft in the civil and transport aircraft, all Russian companies-developers was in very poor condition.

LOOK: How successful, in your forecast, can occur “import substitution”, which took Antonov, to sever ties with Russian subcontractors?

A.: Yes, the West will do – just pay. But how much will it cost? And you have to re-certify operation and more. After all this the price of the aircraft will be such that those wishing to buy it will not be simple.

How do you assess the prospects of the manufacture and sale of aircraft at the moment? Earn whether contracts with Azerbaijan to buy 10 An-178 and with Saudi Arabia on the purchase of An 80-132?

A.: I do not possess all the information and make conclusions based on the analysis of media reports. In 2015 year the “Antonov” really told the tale that they have orders for 100 aircraft An-178 4 billion dollars. It was reported that he had signed a contract with Azerbaijan for the purchase of 10 aircraft An-178. Then in the Ukrainian media wrote that the two aircraft will be built in Ukraine and eight in Azerbaijan. This is bullshit. It will be possible to believe only if the Azerbaijani side will confirm it officially.


Long promised and many times postponed the presentation of the new aircraft marks An held in Kiev. The an-178, as stated, will replace the old Soviet-time model of the An-12. The aircraft was presented with great fanfare, but is not sure if there are any market for Ramp aircraft is a very specific product, and to sell new aircraft will be very difficult. In addition, many important characteristics of the An-178 loses much of the widely known An-12 and С130, although they were created 60 years ago. Even Chinese aircraft U9 has the best performance.

And how actually signed this paper with Azerbaijan? I ran Soldatenko, former first Secretary of the Communist party of the city of Kiev, and now adviser to the chief designer “Antonov” who told me about it. He was familiar with Director General of Azerbaijan airlines Silk Way, and flew to his signing of the document with 10 bottles of premium vodka, bacon and other Goodies. On the way, two bottles of vodka and someone from the crew stole it almost ruined an important mission. In the end, the documents signed. But such pieces of paper in this way Dmitry Kiva was signed for ten years for all aircraft. However, where now the billions of dollars in contracts?

About Saudi Arabia remains an open question. Now, according to reports in the media, has already begun work on the construction of a plant for the production of An-132. But have yet to prove that the An-132 satisfies the requirements of the Saudis. A similar deal had been with Iran on the An-140, but after 16 years it was built only 11 aircraft, if I’m not mistaken. But unlike Saudi Arabia, Iran is an industrialized country. So wait for the promise of the Saudis of the 80 planes have a very long time.

OPINION: is there a problem with the new Antonov An-178? Reported to have problems with alignment. There was, however, then reports that it was a fake and actually the plane is regular testing and confirming characteristics. How do you assess the prospects of this plane?

AV: at first I somehow reacted calmly to these messages. Although the smoke without fire does not happen. Antonov after An-70 twenty years to design the aft fuselage with a rear cargo door and ramp. And over the past 13 years with the company left many professionals. Therefore, it is possible error in the calculations or tables, or in the process of creating paritially of the aircraft tail section. But finally I believe this error after a new comment and articles on the subject of chief flight unit “Antonov”, the test pilot of the first class Eugene A., Galunenko.

He assured that the problems with alignment is stuffing that for the past thirty years, they use cheap and cheerful method – carry ballast in the form of metal plates to the empty plane to make the maximum weight. But everything he writes is sheer incompetence and lies. First, on the published photographs, it was evident that the metal plate is masked and fixed with a special device in the alcove in front of the cockpit. Secondly, and here about 1300 kg of ballast and maximum weight? Third, no one in the world, including Antonov, never used metal plates in the test flights on alignment. Antonov used the blocks of concrete, special pig iron and self-propelled machinery. And how to fix 15 tonnes (maximum capacity), metal plates in the plane, if they do not even have holes or hubs for attaching?

And also, and most importantly, the system of water ballast can significantly reduce the time and cost of testing, and not metal plates. These are the “experts” are now in leadership positions at the state enterprise “Antonov” and you wonder why this problem was aircraft an-178.

“After the change in 2005, the leadership of “Antonov” government officials began to use the company as a “trough” and a tool for public relations, the aviation industry in the country came into decay

I want to say that when we built the An-225, we have also had such problems in the design process paritially the tail part, therefore, drove in the bow machine airfield services. But then in the process of flight testing we were able to extend the range back balance from 45% to 47% and the need for ballast was gone. So this doctor would have recognized the existence of such problems in the An-178 and I would explain that it will be solved during flight tests before production. Then everyone would have forgotten about it.

OPINION: How do you assess the threat, “Antonov” Russia to ban flights of An-124, if they do not undergo life extension in Ukraine?

AV: to Me, on the one hand, the simple answer to this question as I participated in its creation, and with another – difficult, as the current conflict is known to me only from the media. From the beginning of the creation of this aircraft was involved as one family bringing up baby – the an-124. Therefore, with production plants and airlines was very warm and constructive relationship – all wanted the child took place. And it took place thanks to Balabaeva, which brought the aircraft to the international market of cargo transportation. The main operator of An-124 has become the airline “Volga-Dnepr”. We are very friendly, but sometimes there were also conflicts on financial soil. One such global conflict occurred in the early 90s, when the airline considered that Antonov should be free to extend the resource of the An-124. Simply did not understand what it means intellectual property. But then I solved the problem.

In General, “Volga–Dnepr” has done a lot for the An-124, for their serial production at the plant “Aviastar”. And they pay a lot of money “Motor Sich” and “Antonov” for the renewal of resources and modernization of aircraft.

I don’t know what the conflict now. But last year it was clear that to extend the resources of the military aircraft An-124, operated in Russia, will be EDO im. Ilyushina, and commercial – “Antonov”. If someone in Ukraine violates this rule, he is a complete jerk and causes great damage to his country and the aircraft industry.

VIEW: Justified if the rumors that the European military transport aircraft A400M created thanks to the cooperation with “Antonov” (stating to the extent that was transferred or even stolen the key technology of the aircraft An-10X)?

AV: After the collapse of the USSR the An-70 was useless, as neither the Russian nor the Ukrainian military did not have the money. Because it was the first aircraft created under Peter Vasilevich Balabaeva after he became a chief designer, he was very worried. And when Europe started to discuss idea of creation of own military transport aircraft, balabuev saw this as a chance. He put a lot of effort to push through Germany to Europe Antonov an-70S, which took into account the requirements of NATO strategists.

His friend of the Institute, the late designer General motors design office “Progress” Fyodor Mikhailovich Muravchenko, warned him that nothing will come of it. But I had to know Peter Vasilievich: he did not retreat before the difficulties, and overcome them. Therefore, in Germany went a whole team of chief designers and leading specialists, who show and tell the whole ideology of the aircraft.

But in Europe decided that their budget any foreigners would not give. Even when the American firm Pratt & Whitney has extensive experience in the field of turbo-engines, offered Europe to develop the engine for the A400 for much less money, they refused. Mainly due to the development of this engine and was then disrupted the timing of the creation of the aircraft, because the development of a good engine lasts a time longer than the plane itself. And now already in operation there has been a problem.

OPINION: So the technology was sold or not? Or the Europeans just copied them? Or are there at the Ukrainian technology is not used?

A.: Ideology and technology are quite different concepts. Ideology is the way to do conventionally dropping or reservation systems, and more, and technology is how to produce, for example, a wing made of composite materials. So Antonov showed Europe their ideology and how he solved the problem. And Airbus has already developed the aircraft using its technology. Still, the West in terms of technology has always been ahead of the rest. This plane was done taking into account a huge experience of Airbus in the passenger aircraft industry. So they went ahead. Take wing – it was metal, and there composite.

How are you with the assess the condition of the Russian aircraft industry? Superjet, MS-21 – whether they are in line with the modern world of aviation?

AV: I had such a wonderful Tu-334, it only had a little bit bring to mind. And Russian officials have launched a “Superjet”, which, judging by the publications in the Russian media, gobbled up so much of budget funds, which on two such projects would be enough left. Balabuev created in almost the same plane An-148 mainly due to own funds and 10-20 times cheaper.

Of course, in the initial stages of the “Superjet” was full of “childish diseases”, and paritially it. It was very difficult to find in Russia a sufficient number of qualified specialists, and serial production was spread across many plants that I’ve never made such a modern passenger aircraft. So the problems were many. But now they decided. If the GSS “Dry” will provide service support and spare parts for all operators, not just for the Mexican airline, then all will be well.

As for the MS-21, this is the next height, which was taken by the Russian aviation industry. This is the level of modern Western aircraft. But the key word for operators, they will give a real rating to this plane. If, taking into account the experience of operation of “Superjet”, then everything will be fine.

LOOK: I Understand that is not quite your specialty, and you never touched this plane, but – is there, in your opinion, the prospects for the Il-114?

AV: I don’t know the current real state market of regional transportations in Russia. On the one hand, this is a huge country in which no air in any way, and on the other – how in small towns people have the money to fly on airplanes? The Il-114 – old but solid, as was done in the USSR, when in OKB Ilyushin chief designer was Genrikh Vasilievich Novozhilov, and was a great design school. The engine, though not “so hot”. Preparation and launch of a series of aircraft in Russia would cost “a pretty penny”.

Of course, it would be better in Russia issued the aircraft an-140, which is commercially manufacturers in Samara. We ought to just upgrade it. But this can now only dream of.


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