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AIRCRAFT CAPITAL OF RUSSIA

Дата публикации: 15 ноября 2022
Автор(ы): T. Fomina
Публикатор: Научная библиотека Порталус
Рубрика: RUSSIA (TOPICS)
Источник: (c) "Science in Russia" Date:11-01-2000
Номер публикации: №1668460299


T. Fomina, (c)

Tatyana FOMINA, editor of the newspaper Gorodovoi (Zhukovsky)

In 1997 the town of Zhukovsky near Moscow celebrated its 50th birthday. On a historical scale Zhukovsky is young. But even so the name certainly rings the bell with the public in general and with aircraft experts in this and other countries in particular. In 1993 Zhukovsky was chosen as the venue of International Aerospace Shows. And it may also be interesting to note that the very popular notion of "naukograd", which means "science city" in Russian, and which is associated with many of this country's leading centers of research in various fields, was originally coined in Zhukovsky in the early 1990s.

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Zhukovsky owes its origin and its subsequent fame to some of this country's leading R&D centers, including the Central Institute of Aerohydrodynamics (TsAGI) named after Nikolai Zhukovsky and the Aircraft Research Institute (LII) named after Mikhail Gromov. The impressive list of other research centers located there includes R&D centers of instrument engineering, aircraft equipment and research bureaus bearing the names of Pavel Sukhoi, Sergei Ilyushin, Artem Mikoyan and Andrei Tupolev - the names made famous by the civil and military aircraft they designed and built over the years.

The development of Zhukovsky began in the mid-1930s with the construction of testing and production facilities of TsAGI in what was then the village of Stakhanovo and an LII testing site. And it was only right and proper that the town was given in 1947 the name of an outstanding Russian scientist and aircraft engineer Nikolai Zhukovsky, the founding father and the first head of TsAGI. Among the "stars" of the local scientific community are Academician Georgi Byushgens, three Corresponding Members of the Russian Academy- Vladimir Neyland, Vladimir Sychev and Vassily Yaroshev-sky and there are also 121 doctors of science and more than 1,000 candidates of sciences. Needless to say that the bulk of Zhukovsky's population are employed in aircraft research and production and in the associated fields.

As the leader of Russia's aircraft industry and research, TsAGI sets the pace and direction of the development of basic and applied research in this field. Its unique R&D base built over the decades meets the highest standards and requirements on a national and also international scale and tops the

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achievements of many advanced countries. One such example is the modelling of hypersonic aerodynamics (Mach number * of up to 25, ram temperature-up to 10,000C, Reynolds number ** up to 100 min and more).

Special testing stands have been developed by local experts for the studies of some very fine physical effects of gas and liquid How. This is instrumental for both civil and military research and also helps develop what are called twin- application technologies and current conversion programs. The biggest wind tunnel, codenamed T-101, which is used for take-off and landing tests of aircraft and also for automobile aerodynamic studies, is large enough to accommodate Moscow's famous Bolshoi Theater. The tunnel was used for testing large-scale models of the Ostankino TV Tower. Even the famous Boeing made use of the transonic T-128 tunnel in Zhukovsky.

This unique research base of national importance has a staff of 5.5 thousand people including one full member and 3 Corresponding Members of RAS, 94 doctors and 494 candidates of sciences. Their efforts are focused on improving the technical-economic parameters of aircraft and boosting their speed. Experts are investigating wing aerodynamics, take-off and landing mechanisms and controls of different types of aircraft-from TU-324 transport to S-37 fighter planes and also the Gzhel business class aircraft. One current project is focused on increasing the range of the commercial IL-96 passenger jetliner. Another team is working on highly maneuverable radar-invisible devices with a changeable thrust vector SU-35, as well as second-generation supersonic passenger liners and amphibious aircraft.

To improve the streamlining of new aircraft and in order to assess the stress and strain of their structural components Zhukovsky experts have developed what they call drainage tests. Conventional tests of this kind are both costly and labour-consuming; in view of this TsAGI engineers have produced a special coating-luminescent pressure converter *** . Its glow under illumination by light is quenched by oxygen in the stream of air flowing around an aircraft in flight. In air tunnel studies different sections of an aircraft will glow with different


* Mach number-the ratio of the speed of a body to the speed of sound in the surrounding medium. - Ed.

** Reynolds number-one of the main characteristics of viscous liquid flow, equal to ratio of forces of inertia to forces of viscosity - Ed.

*** See: "Paint ... Measures Pressure" in this issue. - Ed.

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intensity and this can be used to prepare a computer plot of pressure distribution.

Local experts are also working on cryogenic aircraft fuels of the future, such as liquefied natural gas. Another promising area of research-a certain breakthrough in national science-aims at developing new types of aircraft with short landing and take-off runs.

A comprehensive approach to scientific and applied problems by TsAGI experts has helped to amass a vast database which is available to all of this country aerospace R&D centers and agencies.

In recent years there has been growing emphasis on the application of aircraft technologies in various other economic and technical fields. One such example have been studies of wind loads upon the Victory Column on the Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow. TsAGI experts have developed a monitoring system for the monument which also provides for dynamic damping of its oscillations. TsAGI experience and practical achievements have been of great help in developing technological improvements for the oil and gas industry, for the development of energy-saving systems (such as those which help boost the performance of oil refineries and facilitate the fractionation of carbohydrate fuels).

Another promising area of TsAGI research are wind-powered generators of electricity. Its experts have also designed (the only one in the world) a thermostable vacuum chamber for tests of the Buran space shuttle. Also developed on its basis have been some unique methods and equipment for timber drying, firing of ceramics and so on. Located there on an area of 5,000 m 2 is the INTE-GRAF plant-this country leader in wood processing which turns out 8 varieties of top-quality parquet floors which are in high demand.

High-temperature materials pioneered at TsAGI find a wide range of applications in various branches of our economy. They include, for example, a foam sealer which is now used in building construction (it was originally developed for the coating of cryogenic units). What is called gas-powder cutting and spray-coating with high-strength refractory materials have appeared on the scene as "by-products" of R&D work on solid-fuel rocket engines.

The DVOINAYA SPIRAL (twin spiral) R&D center branched off TsAGI in 1991. Its experts are conducting investigations in aerohydrodynamics, electromagnetism, and informatics. They also pioneer

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new methods of production of household and industrial gadgets and equipment which find many users not only in Russia, but also in the United States and Germany. The AERODYNAMIKA R&D center has developed an automatic gearbox for various types of cars. It is different from the traditional designs by a complete absence of any hydraulic parts. Being no more complicated to produce than ordinary gearshifts, it is much less expensive and boasts high efficiency. The new gearbox has already caught the eye of Russia's leading car makers like the Volzhsky and Uralsky plants, the AZLK in Moscow and also some foreign firms.

Over the many years of TsAGI's growth and development a number of new areas of research have cropped up within its walls which later became R&D centers in their own right like the Central Institute of Aircraft Motors, the All- Union Institute of Aircraft Materials (Moscow) and the Siberian Research Institute of Aviation. But on top of this list right from the early 1940s has been the Aeronautical Engineering Research Institute bearing the name of its first Director-M. Gromov.

Today this is a major center which conducts full-scale studies and tests of aircraft equipment and devices. It has a staff of over 5 thousand including 17 doctors and 172 candidates of sciences. The institute has been and remains the main airfield-technical research center of this country boasting some of the latest control and measurement instruments and equipment and remote testing sites. It operates a fleet of more than 70 flying labs and some 20 unique multi-purpose testing stands and trainers. These are used for basic studies in aerodynamics, flight mechanics, systems of control, life support and of dynamic interactions of aircraft with the environment. The flying labs are used for testing experimental models of power plants, and on-board instruments and equipment with the aim of their speedy completion and certification up to their installation on new types of aircraft and helicopters. Tests are also conducted on flight safety measures and technological operational standards.

The institute has become this country's main center for the assessment and certification of aircraft. Its experts specializing in various areas are cooperating with scientific committees and different bodies of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the FSF International Safety Fund and the European Space Agency (ESA).

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For more than 50 years now the Institute has been the only school for training aircraft and helicopter test pilots and navigators. It offers its facilities not only to Russian, but also to foreign students, mainly from Asian countries.

Since 1993 the Institute has been the venue of International Aerospace Salons conducted twice a year. Its 44 pavilions occupy a total area of 26 thousand m 2 and there are also open-air sites on an area of 160,000 m 2 which can accommodate more than 200 exhibits. They can land and take-off using a runway of 5,400 meters which is the longest in Europe. Spectators are guaranteed an excellent view of such air shows which helps attract not only experts, but fans from different countries.

The growing popularity of these airshows has been reflected in what specialists call the geography of their attendance. The list of participants in 1999 included more than 350 firms from 24 countries (France, England, United States, China, Ukraine, etc.) and the level of attendance reached a record mark of more than 500 thousand in six days.

Another "whale" of Zhukovsky is Russia's leader in airborne aircraft equipment. It is called the Scientific Research Institute of Aviation Equipment (NIIAO) and it branched off LII in 1982. It now has a staff of more than two thousand, including 5 doctors and 53 candidates of sciences.

The center owed its origin to an acute need for focused and more efficient R&D in the field of integrated sets of on-board instruments and equipment for spacecraft. The Vostok, Voskhod, Soyuz, Mir and Buran space probes all carry instruments and equipment designed and made by NIIAO experts (equipment for the first two on this list was made back at LII) for data collection and manual control of the probes. Trainers designed and built at LII are installed in the Cosmonauts' Training Center and have been used by all Russian space crews without exception.

NIIAO is one of the most active participants of the federal programs of development for civil aviation, the Alfa International Space Program and of the Russian Mir Program. Its experts built an integrated control panel for the Alfa central command post and work is now in full swing on a unified data-handling network for its Russian modules and also for data processing systems of a new generation for space freighters of the future.

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Institute experts designed, certified and launched into mass production for the first time in this country some unified sets of avionics (airborne radioelectronic and navigational systems and equipment) for the IL-96-300, TU-204 and IL- 114 aircraft which meet all of the national and international standards. Work is now in progress on electronic indication systems and integrated control panels, computerized airborne navigational and communication complexes. Experts are also working on advanced dialogue systems of speech recognition and synthesis, onboard electronic libraries and digital cartographic databanks. The results of these studies are used, for example, for the development of what is called a base avionics set ARIA-200 for the BE-200 amphibious aircraft-one of the latest products of the Beriev Aviation- Research-Technological Complex in Taganrog. Also located in Zhukovsky is one of this country's best known R&D organizations specializing in antiaircraft complexes and armaments control systems for fighter aircraft. It is called the Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Engineering (NIIP) and bears the name of one of its founders-Viktor Tikhomirov. Established in 1955, the Institute has a staff of 1,500 including one doctor and 38 candidates of sciences.

Their "products" received international recognition thanks to the antiaircraft missile complexes called KUB and later BUK. These are superior to most foreign makes in the size of the target area, parameters and the number of simultaneously engaged targets. The latest modification called BUK-MI-2 was cleared for combat use in 1998. Its excellent tactical-technical characteristics make it an effective weapon against tactical, ballistic and aircraft missiles. Its effective range against minesweepers is up to 25 and against missile torpedo-boats up to 18 km, against radio-contrasting ground targets (launchers, grounded aircraft, etc.) at distances of up to 12-15 km, and against high-accuracy weapons like guided bombs-up to 20 km. The targeted area for the KUB system has been extended to an altitude of 25 km and a range of 45 km with the hit probability of up to 95 percent.

A landmark project for the Institute was the ZASLON system of fire control for the long-range interceptor MIG-31. The system boasted for the first time in this country's history of armaments an airborne digital computer. Its radar

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was fitted with an electronic-steer-able aerial with phased lattice array thanks to which the aircraft has a much longer range of "vision" (up to 200 km) and can simultaneously "keep an eye" on 10 targets.

In recent years NIIP experts have been giving more of their time to non- military products. These include systems of subway traffic control of a new generation called YAUZA and VITYAZ, the RELAX physiotherapy massage unit, an electronic power meter and a car microprocessor for fuel injection and ignition control (manufactured by the GAZ, UAZ and IZh plants). The list also includes a geosonar which can detect objects at depths of down to 20 m and there are also an electronic thermometer and humidity meter with a broad range of parameters, a cutter for upholstery and an ambulance (on the basis of an UAZ van fitted with first-aid equipment).

Operating in close cooperation with NIIP is the AGAT Research Institute (MNII, Moscow). It was founded in 1958 and is now this country's leading producer of radar self-targeting warheads for antiaircraft rockets. The organization has a staff of 800 including 4 doctors and 18 candidates of sciences.

AGAT instruments and equipment are used for ground-to-air and air-to-air missiles, KUB and BUK rockets and their modifications and for a set of missiles used on the fighters MIG-23, 25 and 31 and on SU-27.

The successful performance of this plant has been reflected over the past few years on the economics of Zhukovsky as a whole. Since AGAT products are in high demand, the institute takes advantage of its financial independence to support municipal programs and suggest innovations including those in the field of medicare. One of its technical contributions has been the KEMP portable electrographic set used for measuring cardiogram parameters, vectorcardiograms and also-for the first time in the world-for precardial imaging. The set makes it possible to monitor the conditions of a patient on a real time-scale, storing all this information in a database. It can also be used for ECG diagnostics. The database is large enough to be used for several hundreds patients.

The KEMP unit has now been cleared for hospital use and there is a growing interest among the medical profession to the AGAT urofluometer used for the early diagnosis of prostatic enlargement. Medical specialists have also been attracted by yet another novelty

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suggested by the Institute-called a non-invasive bilirubin analyzer. The device can measure blood levels of the substance in a matter of seconds in patients of different age, including newborn babies, without any damage to their skin.

The list of firms and agencies operating in Zhukovsky now also includes nearly one hundred enterprises specializing in mechanical engineering and consumer products. And there are also some 300 of what are called minor enterprises 39 of which are specializing in all sorts of innovations in the scientific and technical, production and educational areas.

Located in Zhukovsky is a prestigious center for training skilled specialists for aircraft research and development activities. It accommodates the departments of aeromechanics and aircraft technology of the Moscow Physico-Technical Institute; the STRELA department of the Moscow Institute of Aviation; a department of the Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology; the Aviation Technical school; a school for test pilots; the Municipal Institute of Zhukovsky and the International Institute of Management (MIN LINK).

The last one on this list is a participant in the presidential "Program of Management Training for the National Economy of the Russian Federation". It is on the list of educational centers and programs selected on a competitive basis, and it trains management specialists for 80 cities of the CIS member states in accordance with the programs of the British Open University and with the graduates receiving a Russian and British diplomas. This major school of business management is attended by more than 3,000 students at one and the same time. The accepted teaching methods (active correspondence) makes it possible for the students to combine studies with work at no sacrifice to the teaching standards.

The Municipal Institute of the City of Zhukovsky was set up in 1999 with the view of meeting the needs of the city and the surrounding area in intellectual, cultural and ethical fields and in professional training and education in the following fields: information systems, sociology, linguistics and international communications. The faculty includes some of Zhukovsky's leading names in the respective areas.

Finally, Zhukovsky is the only one municipal center in this country which practically dictates our national policy in the field of aircraft engineering. In the past the

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Soviet Union accounted for more than 50 percent of the world output of military (on the basis of technological competition with the United States and Western Europe) and some 30 percent of civil aircraft. This market, however, was sharply reduced from the early 1990s same as the volume of orders for scientific and technological innovations. As a result the leading R&D centers of Zhukovsky now have a large margin of unused production areas and facilities. These are now considered for various kinds of innovative activities which is reflected in the urban program of socio-economic development. This provides for their restructuring with the subsequent utilization of their R&D potential and manpower for a network of minor enterprises. Plans are afoot for the establishment of innovations centers with the support of the Municipal Fund of Scientific and Technical and Socio-Economic Development. Attached to the Fund will be a common Information-Consultative Center with its own Expert Group. More vigorous promotion efforts are planned for the marketing of the traditional and conversion technologies of the local producers and a more active search for strategic partners in other countries (like the United States, European and Asian markets).

The implementation of the suggested programs will help retain Russia's traditional status of a world's "winged" leader.

 

Опубликовано на Порталусе 15 ноября 2022 года

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