MaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17681 posts, RR: 46
Reply 1, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5503 times:
"In Soviet times, domestic aircraft manufacturers such as Tupolev, Ilyushin and Yakovlev accounted for more than a quarter of global aerospace production and were a force that Western producers like Boeing had to reckon with. "
Was this ever true? I don't think Boeing or Airbus ever worried about competing with Russian aircraft anywhere outside of the USSR or communist or communist friendly countries?
Hjulicher From Liechtenstein, joined Feb 2005, 883 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5448 times:
I know that technologically some Russian a/c were actually better engineered than their western counterparts, the only contrast was, despite their superior engineering, the a/c were wasteful, and thus never had a chance in the west. Remember that the soviet union had an abundance of oil during the 70's when the west was struggling with its shortages of oil.
AMSSpotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2005, 271 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5202 times:
Quoting Dalavia (reply 3): In opening the article, I was hoping to read that Putin had some solutions to the uncompetitiveness of Russia's airliners. All he has done is criticise without offering suggestions (or assistance).
Well, it looks like Mr. Putin wants to let a number of Russian aircraft manufacturers merge. Maybe that's just a first step to privatisation. It would be healthy to have a 3rd large aircraft manufacturer as a competitor to A and B (just think of the threads that will develop in this forum, haha). Anyway: I've always seen Russian engineers as being very skilled. I hope for a come-back of the Russian civil aviation industry.
Broke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5026 times:
Soviet era commercial jet aircraft were not designed to meet the certification requirements of either the USA or Great Britain, which at that time had the best standards. Since then the European Union has established the JAR's, which are equivalent of the US FAR's. While there are some differences between the two standards, they are organized in the same manner so designers and operators can go to the same section to ensure any differences are addressed.
Soviet era commercial powerplants were primarily military engines, which designed with low TBO's and low total engine lives. The philosophy then being that a combat aircraft would only survive for about 100 hours in a war and it was not necessary to design for long life, economy, and durability.
The Yak design bureau with the Yak-40 and Yak-42 aircraft was the first Soviet group, that I know of, that did develop commercial aircraft that could be certified in the West.
Soviet commercial aircraft generally went to third world countries that they were trying to influence and they were provided at extremely low cost to the country.
Once the Soviet Union dissolved, most Soviet Bloc airlines, including Aeroflot, began to operate Western built airliners.
Eilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4648 times:
"Soviet era commercial powerplants were primarily military engines, which designed with low TBO's and low total engine lives. The philosophy then being that a combat aircraft would only survive for about 100 hours in a war and it was not necessary to design for long life, economy, and durability."
Where did you learn that?? Are you implying that e.g. an AN-124 needs to have one of its engines removed after around 25 hours of flying?
PanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4586 times:
While we in the west have been trained to think of the USSR as the "Evil Empire", many Russians look to their past when their country was a force to be reckoned with on many levels. This is not to say that they wish that communism would return - that would be like Americans wishing for a return to segregation or some other shameful act from our history - but on a technological level, the USSR produced some amazing technology.
Russian aircraft, although perhaps not the most glamorous on the inside, were some of the most durable aircraft built and tested in some of the most EXTREME climates on the planet, due to both weather and primitive conditions.
Now that the USSR has fallen, and there are no more massive state subsidies, Russian manufacturers have had to compete on the open market, which has proven to be tough in many cases. It is doubtful that many airlines (especially outside of the former USSR) will be interested in buying large numbers of Russian aircraft, as Airbus and Boeing seem to have a lock on commercial aviation. I am not sure what the Russian manufacturers will do.
However, let us also remember that it was the USSR that put the first satellite into orbit (Sputnik), and it was a Russian (Yuri Gagarin) who was the first man to orbit the earth!
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FlyinTLow From Germany, joined Oct 2004, 524 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3975 times:
Some things like the first space flight, the MIR, the huge Antonov airplanes, and the fact that many many of those old TU-154s and other older Russian aircraft still fly today show how much potential aerospace engineering in Russia once had and still has.
I am sure we will be seeing a lot from them once some money comes back to those companies again!
Dalavia From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 549 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3825 times:
I wonder whether China is a key player in this question.
China used to have a substantial Tu-154 fleet. In recent years, China has ordered competing models of both Boeings and Airbusses, and has placed a small order for Tu-204 cargo aircraft.
Is it possible that the Chinese will find the Tu-204s very cost-effective and order the passenger model, perhaps encouraging airlines elsewhere to look at the new generation of Russian airliners as viable competitors to A & B?
Lightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13301 posts, RR: 100
Reply 11, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3807 times:
If you've ever dissected a Russian engine, its absolutely fascinating! Since this is related to the competitiveness of Russian airliners, I'd like to add my insights.
1. The components are light! Everything that can be titanium is titanium. The first time I picked up a Russian external tube... I almost threw it not realizing it wasn't the stainless of a GE/Pratt/RR engine. Also there aren't many bolts in a Russian engine (see next item). Heck, 1&2 make the engines very light for their capabilities.
2. If it can be welded shut, it is. Forget bolts... Its only the more recent comerical designs that have removable fuel injectors. There engines were simply designed to go hundreds of hours with multiple fuel injectors out (smoke? Comrade, I see no smoke). However, at the time the weld quality was in general superior to Western welds, most notably with Ti welds. (They were welding Ti alloys beautifully that weren't supposed to be weldable. If the part hadn't been in my hand...)
3. Forget LRU (line replacable units). (see item 2). Want to fix the gearbox? Ship it to the factory as a saw is required. Assemblies that would be two to five LRU's on a western engine were one monolithic LRU (of course welded shut).
4. Forget getting 10K+ cycles between overhauls. Heck, forget getting the poor 3,700 of the old pw2038 (or the 8k+ of a CFM-56-3). We're talking 1K between breaking the engine casing. And those aren't bolts closing the casing (see item 2). Russians love their welds (and saws). Ok, there were some bolt flanges... but less than half of a western engine.
5. Emissions? Comrade, that is a Western lie!
Where did you learn that?? Are you implying that e.g. an AN-124 needs to have one of its engines removed after around 25 hours of flying? Have you ever noticed those things fly around with 8+ mechanics? The engines tend to need a shop visit every few hundred flight hours.
Quite simply, Russian designs are always elegant. But the requirements for rough field operations kills their economics when operating in a Western environment. Not to mention the added maintenance costs. The aircraft techs were always amused by the water tanks in the Tupalov's (sp?) to correct weight balance dependent on loading. But I wouldn't want to be on a western jet taking off with a foot of snow on a dirt runway (a typical Russian design requirement).
Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
Sovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2617 posts, RR: 17
Reply 12, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3534 times:
25 hours? That's ridiculous. You're thinking of the first RD-20 jet engines on like a Yak-23 from 1948. Those sure had 25 hours TBO although in reality the average TBO was about 17 hours. Anyway that's besides the point. The engines on Soviet planes are in fact very durable and have a good TBO for when they were designed. And just to bust some myths, the D-30 engine used on the Tu-134, -154M, Il-62M, Il-76 was made purely as a commercial engine which in turn was derived by the D-20P used on Tu-124s. The Mig-31 uses D-30F-6 engines which are modified D-30s used commericaly so you see it even flows the other way where the military uses commercial engines. The other main engine was of course the NK-8-2U used on Tu-154B, basic Il-62 and its derivative the NK-86 was used on the Il-86. However, it's true that their time has gone and most Soviet planes still flying are nearing the end. They had their glory and just like any other airliner they're past their prime. If a merger occurs we would lose some names, probably Yakovlev and Myasischev as well as a few others. Hopefully they'll shape up and make some more classic planes.