In 2010, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced a specification for a new generation of large reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Two parallel specificall programs were created; BAK-SD (Bespilotnyj Aviatsionnyj Komplex Strednij Dalnosti) and BAK-BD (Bespilotnyj Aviatsionnyj Komplex Bolšoj Dalnosti). While the program BAK-SD data reveal its take-off weight close to 1 t, i.e. analog to the American type RQ-1 Predator, the program BAK-BD had come to take-off weight close to 5 t or analog to the US MQ-9 Reaper.
The specifications of BD-BAK proposals were submitted to the two design offices, OKB Simonov (formerly known as Sokol), specialized design office for the development of UAVs and to the aircraft design bureau RSK MiG. For the winner, at the beginning of the October 2011, it was declared the proposal made by the workshop of the Kazan´s design bureau OKB Simonov (АО НПО "ОКБ им. М.П. Симонова"). This was followed by the signing of the contract in the amount of 1 billion rubles (about $35 million) that covered not only the development costs, but the cost of the building a technological demonstrator. The UAV designed by the design office OKB Simonov and the program BAK-BD became known as the Altius-M, further jointly developed by the Nizhny Novgorod - based PJSC Sokol (НАЗ "Сокол") and St. Petersburg - based Tranzas ZAO ("Транзас"). The commencement of the production was planned in 2017 or 2018. The aircraft system features a long wing design with the two under-wing turboprop engines and a V-shaped tail.
Most on-board systems or some of their components, UAV Altius-M reportedly shares with a parallel-type UAV Pacer that emerged from the BAK-SD program. Prototype of the UAV Altius-M, also known as Altair, was constructed by the JSC "KAPO Composit" (АО "КАПО-Композит"). In August 2014, the machine was first spotted at the Kazan airport.
Date of commencement of that test demonstrator flight was set for December 2014. In December of the same year it was reportedly slightly damaged during high speed scrolling. Flight testing of the first UAV Altius-M prototype was launched in mid-July 2016 and suspended in December of the same year. Flight tests will be reinstated in the spring or summer of 2017, with a modified prototype based on the results of the first prototype´s tests. Currently are ongoing intensive works on the other two test machines. Their completion has already reached an advanced stage of technical preparedness. According to the current plans, the serial production of the UAV of type Altius-M should run in 2018.
The newest UAV is entirely made of the composite materials and has a takeoff weight of up to five tons. The length of the Altair-M is about 11,6 m / 38 ft, the wingspan about 28,5 m / 93 ft 6 in and the span of the V-tail about 6 m / 19 ft 8 in. The aerial vehicle is equipped with the two liquid-cooled diesel RED A03/V12 turbocharged diesel engines, which have a take off power of about 500 horsepower and are equipped with the airscrews. The flying range of the Altius-M is about 10.000 km / 6.213 mi, and the flight duration up to 48 hours. Supposedly, the Altair is equipped with a station of optical imagery intelligence with an optoelectronic system based on a gyro-stabilized platform, while a side-looking position-radar station, with an active phased antenna array, is mounted in the forebody. The Altius-M aerial vehicle system uses a modular approach with a variety of payloads to perform strike, reconnaissance and electronic warfare (EW) missions using the Khibiny or Borisoglebsk-2 jamming systems. The new UAVs will be put into service by The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation and The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.
As already mentioned, UAV Altius-M (Altair) is powered by two Raikhlin Aircraft Engine Developments GmbH (RED aircraft GmbH) RED A03/V12 turbocharged diesel engines (eng. architecture: 90°V 12-cylinder; eng. displacement: 6.134 cm3 / 374 in3 * bore: 86,00 mm / 3,39 in, stroke: 88,0 mm / 3,46 in), CR: 16,5:1, rated at 493 hp (500 PS) / 368 kW at 4.000 rpm on take off (2.127 prop rpm), with four overhead spur-geared camshafts (double overhead camshaft - DOHC). The air is compressed into the engine by two intercooled turbochargers. The fuel system is operated by the common-rail direct injection, and the engine can operate on a jet-fuel and kerosene-type/diesel. Liquid cooling system is of a dual-circuit and for that purpose uses water and oil. For the safety reasons each cylinder bank possesses an independent exhaust, cooling, air induction and fuel system. The oil system incorporates a dry sump and features suction pumps and one pressure pump. The engine’s operating characteristics are controlled and monitored by means of an EECU. The redundant engine management system features DAL B software and a hardware layout. The RED A03/V12 is equipped with an electric starter and two alternators. The propeller is single-stage, gear-driven (1/1,88 ratio) by a flanged transmission. Full spec. engine dry mass at the moment is 363 kg / 800 lb (base aero engine weights around 250 kg / 551 lb nett).
The engine dry mass is based on the basic engine specification which includes engine loom with brackets, electrical engine starter, oil-coolant heat exchanger, integrated oil tank, exhaust systems with turbochargers and wastegates, oil pumps and water pumps. This mass does not include propeller, governor, water coolers, coolant piping, charge air coolers, oil catch tanks, exhaust gas tailpipes, Electronic Engine Control Unit (EECU) and Glow Plug Power Unit (GPPU), adapter loom, alternators, belt drives and engine fluids. The engine´s length is 1.100 mm / 43,3 in, height 750 mm / 29,5 in and width 850 mm / 33,5 in. RED A03/V12 diesel engine is equipped with a FADEC/EECS that is controlled by the Electronic Engine Control Unit (EECU) processing unit. Maximum operating altitude of the engine is 7.620 m / 25.000 ft. Fuel consumption of 210-220 g/kWh means it is a very good diesel engine, comparable to those best. This engine is just one more proof that, if you need an amazing piston engine of any design, you have to knock at the door of some of the German factory. If they don´t have it at the moment, just say what you need and they will create it. This one, RED A03/V12, diesel engine reminds me a lot of Audi´s V12 TDI Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) DOHC diesel engine (eng. architecture: 60°V 12-cylinder; eng. displacement: 5.934 cm3 / 362,1 in3 * bore: 83,0 mm / 3,27 in, stroke: 91,4 mm / 3,60 in), CR: 16,0:1, rated at 493 hp (500 PS) / 368 kW at 4.000 rpm, once used in Audi R8 TDI Le Mans concept car and Audi Q7 V12 TDI quattro luxury crossover SUV. Audi R10 TDI race car that won 4 constructors´and 4 drivers´championships of the (American) Le Mans series was also using V12 TDI engine, though those two engines are completely unrelated (bore, stroke and the angle between the cylinder banks) and do not share a single component.
Just a few more words about UAV Altius-M ... if I would find myself in a situation I have no choice but to shoot down Altius-M aerial vehicle, I would surely take care to do that very gently and carefully just not to damage its engines. And, if anywise possible, to save them ... :-)
At the Dusseldorf Boat Show in 2011 there was a not so well publicized world premier of a new RED A03/V12 marine diesel engine, newcomer to the marine world, at the present only available as an aero engine, originally developed to fill a niche market between aircraft gasoline piston engines and the more expensive turboprops and, as such, was certified as an aero engine so far.
A marine version of the aero engine was planned to have an output power of cca. 700 hp (710 PS) / 522 kW at 3.900 rpm. Weight of the engine has not been announced, but its aluminum construction with the carbon fiber inlet manifolds means it is very light.
Caption: Front view of the RED A03 engine showing 90 degree.....................................Caption: Side view of the engine showing turbocharger and common rail
between cylinder banks and carbon fibre inlet manifolds..............................................fuel injection system.
Photo credit: Keith Henderson.................................................. ...............................Photo credit: Keith Henderson
RED A03/V12 marine engine is also a V12 liquid cooled turbocharged diesel engine with 90° between the cylinder banks and twin double overhead camshafts. A bore of 86,0 mm / 3,39 in and stroke of 88,0 mm / 3,46 in gives a swept volume of 6.134 cm3 / 374 in3. The engine is electronically controlled with a common-rail direct fuel injection system. Operating on JET A fuel, a specific fuel consumption of 210-220 g/kWh was reported. There are a dry sump lubrication system, twin fuel pumps, twin turbochargers and an integrated oil-water heat exchanger. Dimensions of the base engine are length 800 mm / 31,5 in, width 840 mm / 33,1 in and height 650 mm / 25,6 in.
The Yak-52 training aircraft (reg. LY-RAD) was chosen by the RED AIRCRAFT as the first engine flight test platform for the newly developed RED A03/V12 engine. The design for the engine installation has been undertaken in cooperation with the JSC A.S. Yakovlev Design Bureau (ОАО "Опытно-конструкторское бюро им. А. С. Яковлева"). The main goal to create the most compact engine installation packaging concept was successfully realized. The acceleration loads typical for training aircraft gave a chance to test engine performance, durability and interface in critical conditions. RED AIRCRAFT has successfully flight tested a prototype and confirmed declared high performance characteristics of the RED A03/V12 engine.
… a couple of years back, the Russian aircraft manufacturers have agreed with the German company Raikhlin Aircraft Engine Developments GmbH (RED Aircraft GmbH) for the development of the promising engines for the light piston aircraft. The contract provides for a 2-aircraft diesel engines, known under the designations RED A03/V12 and RED A05/V6. The main difference between these engines is the number of the cylinders. RED A03/V12 has 12 cylinders arranged in V-shaped system, and RED A05/V6 has 6 cylinders arranged in V, as reflected in their titles.
For the first time that the work on the project has even started, it became clear in autumn 2010, when the news from those most informed came from Germany about the end of the assembly of the standard 12-cylinder diesel engine. Soon it was installed on a little modified Yak-52 plane, which received the latest engine mounts. In November 2010 it was reported that the new engine has a capacity of 500-700 horsepower, and the fuel consumption is about 30 l/h at a flight speed of 250 km/h at 2/3 of the capacity of the engine. Such a numbers were intrigued by the aviation enthusiasts, but soon the enthusiasm was lost as the new messages have appeared. The next few months RED Aircraft was working on a fine-tuning of the new engine and demonstrate it at the air shows. Otherwise, Yak-52 aircraft was standard powered by the Vedeneyev M-14P, piston, four-stroke, supercharged, petrol engine (eng. architecture: 9-cylinder, single-row radial; eng. displacement: 10.131 cm3 / 618,2 in3 * bore: 105, 0 mm / 4,13 in, stroke: 130,0 mm / 5,12 in), CR: 6,3:1, rated at 360 hp (364 PS) / 268 kW at 2.950 rpm.
In that time, there was only a piece of news about the RED A03/V12 engine. Management development company announced that by the end of 2012 the new engine tests have been completed, and that in the next year assembly of the first aircraft Yak-152 will begin. Following the production of the new training aircraft, the testing and work to obtain all the necessary documents started.
In June 2016 manufacturer IAPO - Irkutsk Aircraft Production Assocaition has revealed that the Russian Ministry of Defense has ordered 150 Yak-152 basic trainers. The company unveiled that three aircraft were under the various stages of assembly at their plant in Irkutsk. Operated by a single pilot, the cockpit can accommodate two crew members in a tandem configuration. The aircraft is intended to provide primary pilot training, professional selection and the occupational guidance for the future pilots of military fighter aircraft. The Yak-152 is a single-engine, two-seater, low-wing monoplane of a classical configuration with a retractable tricycle landing gear with nose wheel and, at that time anticipated, M-14H engine. Shock-absorbing properties of the landing gear with the low pressure tires, short take-off and landing run make it possible to operate the aircraft on small unprepared airfields.
However, the prototype was powered by a turbocharged diesel engine built by Raikhlin Aircraft Engine Developments GmbH (RED aircraft GmbH), A03/V12, from Germany. As I have already mentioned, the engine was available in two versions, A05/V6 and A03/V12. The latter provides sufficient power for the Yak-152 to fly with four underwing weapons pylons and up to 550 kg / 1.100 lb of munitions on them. In one of the possible configurations, the inner attachment points could be occupied by rocket pods or R-73 air-to-air missiles, and the outer ones with a 50/100 kg (110/220 lb) caliber bombs. On a reconnaissance mission, the Yak-152 can take pods for aerial photography, radiation, bacteriologic and chemical warfare. On 27. Aug 2016, at the IAPO - Irkutsk Aircraft Production Assocaition (ПАО "Корпорация "Иркут"), the first completed Yak-152 trainer aircraft prototype (serial number 0001), equipped with a RED A03/V12 diesel engine was rolled out.
The requirement from the Russia’s Air and Space Force is for 150 aircraft in the roles of screener and basic trainer. For this and other domestic customers, there was a plan that the Yak-152 will be powered by the M-14H, piston, four-stroke, supercharged, petrol engine (eng. architecture: 9-cylinder, single-row radial; eng. displacement: 10.131 cm3 / 618,2 in3 * bore: 105, 0 mm / 4,13 in, stroke: 130,0 mm / 5,12 in), CR: 6,3:1, rated at 400 hp (405 PS) / 298 kW at 2.950 rpm, built by the PJSC "OKBM" (ООО "ОКБМ") from Voronezh, and based on the Ivchenko AI-14 nine-cylinder, air-cooled, radial piston engine. The M-14H version (used on Yak-52M aircraft) is the recent and more powerful version of the popular Vedeneyev M-14P engine which develops 360 hp (364 PS) / 268 kW at ´maximum´ mode and 400 hp (PS) / 298 kW at the ´emergency´mode. The engine is air-cooled with a single-speed pump and mechanical reduction gear of airscrew shaft drive, equipped with the system of automatic start and the system of the automatic condensate drainage from the lower cylinders to avoid hydroblows. There is also a Vedeneyev M-14PF slightly modified version of the engine, rated at 400 hp (405 PS) / 298 kW, with the larger, 104,1 mm / 4,1 in, power booster (M-14P has 91,4 mm / 3,6 in. booster) and a higher supercharger´s (centrifugal, single-stage) gear ratio (supercharger turns at 10,5 times of the engine´s speed rather than 8,16), used to produce a mildly higher manifold pressure. Prop gear ratio of the M-14 engine is 0,658:1. Engine´s diameter is 985 mm / 38,8 in, length 924 mm / 36,4 in and dry mass 214 kg / 471 lb.
The M-14H-powered version of the Yak-152 aircraft is lighter, with gross weight (compared with the RED A03/V12 engine) reduced from 2.125 kg / 4.684 lb to 1.400 kg / 3.086 lb. It has g limits of +9/-7 (the g limits of the diesel version are +5/-3). While the maximum diving speed remains at 500 km/h / 270 kn, the maximum level speed drops from 380 km/h / 205 kn to 335 km/h / 181 kn (Maximum Level Speed is the maximum speed an airplane can attain in level flight. In almost all cases, an airplane is flying faster or slower than this speed, and if it levels out and flies straight/level, at full power, it will slow down/speed up to this speed). The maximum climb rate rises from 8 m/s to 11 m/s (1.575 ft/min to 2.165 ft/min). Take-off run decreases from 300 m / 990 ft to 200 m / 660 ft. The landing run is reduced from 450 m / 1.485 feet to 250 m / 825 ft, as a result of the landing speed going down from 145 km/h / 78 kn to 115 km/h / 62 kn.
Since the M-14H engine production was ceased in the meantime, it seems Yak-152 aircraft will have to deal with the READ A03/V12 engine´s greater weight and yet the factory can be overjoyed to come into the possession of such a magnificent peace of the engineering since the Russian aviation industry has, not nearly, anything similar in the production programs of their factories.
In the end, I cannot resist not to ask myself what is the maximal propulsion power the Yak-152´s airframe can endure and how would this, by my humble opinion great, aircraft behave with, for example, an PT6A-114A twin-shaft, free-turbine (PwrT), turboprop engine (engine architecture: (3+1r)LPC–̯̆1LPT«1PwrT-]2G[-P), CPR: 7,0, rated at 675 shp (684 sPS) / 503 kW at 1.900 rpm of the Output Speed.
The P&WC PT6A-114A turboprop engine is the member of the PT6A ´Small´ series of the PT6A turboprops. Single-stage power turbine is connected to a two-stage epicyclic output reduction gearbox, which drives the propeller at a speed of 1.900 rpm. Gas generator shaft´s speed is 38.100 rpm. Engine´s length is 1.341 mm / 52.8 in, diameter 596 mm / 23,5 in and dry mass 163 kg / 359 lb...
If will the Yak-152, with the turbo diesel engine, be a true workhorse, I am sure with the ´proposed´ turboprops it would be a true … DogFighter? ... :-)
Last edited by mfranjic; 22nd April 2017 at 22:54.
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