Russian aviation makes return to Paris Air Show after 5-year hiatus
Russia’s aircraft manufacturers are taking part in the 2019 Paris Air Show which kicked off on Monday at Le Bourget airport. Russia has not participated in the show since 2014 due to Western sanctions.
The 53rd Paris Air Show, which will take place from June 17 to 23, is expected to once again bring together all the major players of the global aviation industry.
This year, the Russian aircraft industry will be represented at the show by amphibious aircraft and civilian helicopters.
Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) will showcase the Be-200ES amphibious aircraft which is mainly used for firefighting (it can take 12 tons of water on board), as well as for search and rescue, maritime patrol, cargo, and passenger transportation. The aircraft will be presented at a static exposition and will also take part in the flight program. The main operator of Be-200ES is Russia’s Emergency Ministry. The aircraft has been also exported to Azerbaijan.
“In recent years, we did not exhibit military equipment at Le Bourget and Farnborough for obvious reasons. Priority in the exhibition activities was shifted to the target markets of Southeast Asia and South America,” UAC’s representative said. “This year we are showcasing the Be-200, which is the best in terms of characteristics for the class of amphibians. Such a plane may be in demand in the Mediterranean region which is suffering from seasonal fires,” he said, adding that the Be-200 regularly helps with extinguishing fires in Europe.
Last year, UAC inked a contract to supply four Be-200s (with an option for six more) to the American company Seaplane Global Air Services.
The Be-200 is entering the global market with a prospect of international cooperation, and “while there is demand for the aircraft it is logical to show it at Le Bourget,” according to director of Aviaport Agency Oleg Panteleyev. He told Vedomosti that UAC will also show the MC-21 simulator at the airshow.
Russian civilian helicopters will be shown at Le Bourget for the first time since 1989. Two multi-purpose Ansat light helicopters will be presented. They will be shown in both medical and VIP transport variants. The helicopters will be displayed at the static exposition and will take part in the flight program of the air show.
Ansat is the newest civilian helicopter supplied by Russian Helicopters. It has the largest cabin in its class, and is actively used by Russian air medical services. This twin-engine helicopter has compact size and does not require a large landing area. It can also be used for normal passenger and VIP transport, cargo delivery and environmental monitoring. High-altitude tests of Ansat have been successfully completed, which confirmed the possibility of its use in mountainous terrain at altitudes up to 3,500 meters. The helicopter can be operated in a temperature range between -45 and +50 degrees Celsius.
Ansat was released to international markets in 2018. At the moment, about 25 machines have been delivered to customers. Last year, a contract was signed for the supply of 20 Ansats to the Chinese Emergency and Disaster Relief Association. An Ansat equipped for passenger transport will be delivered to Mexico’s Craft Avia Center by 2020. Negotiations are also proceeding with potential customers from Southeast Asia.
“The European premiere of Ansat is especially important for us, as it will demonstrate our competence in the field of civilian helicopter building at one of the most prestigious air shows in the world… We managed to increase the share of civilian helicopters in our total output from 5 percent in 2014 to 40 percent in 2018,” said Director General of Russian Helicopters Andrey Boginsky. He added: “We plan to continue moving in this direction in order to reach the figure of more than 50 percent in 2020.”
The international air show in Le Bourget is one of the largest and oldest air shows in the world. It takes place every two years at the Le Bourget airport, 12 kilometers from Paris. Russia is a regular participant at the show. The first Russian aircraft presented in France was the Tupolev ANT-35 in 1936. In 1965, the Soviet Union showed the Mi-6, Mi-8 and Mi-10 helicopters for the first time at the Paris Air Show.
According to the organizers, a total of 142 international aircraft – airplanes, helicopters and drones – will take part in the show this year.
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