by Elco B
Tue Mar 14th, 2006 at 06:06:00 PM EST
Yes, this is about a Russian plane !
The Be-200 taking off......
This is my third post where planes are involved, hence the title 'Special planes'. I have other planes in mind , all with a particular significance. If you find this interesting, more posts will follow.
Now, why this Russian plane ?
There are several reasons, but first let's have a close look.
The Beriev Be-200 is an amphibious multirole turbofan aircraft designed by the Berieva Aviatsionnyi Kompaniya (Beriev Aviation Company), with the Russian Irkutsk Aircraft Production Association (IAPO) responsible for the production engineering development phase of the program. The first flight took place in 1998 and the aircraft was first seen in the west at the 1999 Paris Air Show(proudly showing Russian tricolor water shower).
This is a state of the art, robust, very modern plane as this photo of the cockpit shows :
Of course all technical data can be found on numerous sites, Wikepedia is a good start and also several video's of the plane in action.
This is a multipurpose plane.
But here are the most remarkable features:
- Can, while gliding over water, scoop up 12 tons of it within 14 seconds.
- Drops a full load of water within 1(one) second.
- It can start, take-off and land on water.
- In a fire-fighting mission, the fully fuelled aircraft can fly 200km from the airfield to a water reservoir, make successive trips between the site of the fire and the reservoir (over a range of 10km from the fire zone to the reservoir), to drop a total of 310,000kg of water on the fire and make the 200km return flight to the airfield for refuelling.
- Cruising speed is 640km/h, range is more than 3000km.
- Delivery of rescue team (up to 50 members) and SAR equipment to disaster area.
- Delivery of primary necessity loads to disaster areas on ground or water.
- Evacuation of casualties (up to 60) from the disaster area on ground or water.
- Search and detection of the shipwreck location in an outlined sea area.
There are more features since the plane quickly can be changed between waterbomber, cargo , passenger and mixed configurations.No other plane in the world combines this possibilities.
Another remarkable fact: the designing, building, financing an marketing of the aircraft happens trough joint ventures : UK, French, Greek,Swiss JV's are created. In Toulouse (Airbus via EADS) they are contracting people to support European buyers of the Be-200.
At this moment , I couln't find information about sold plane's exept for those in Russia, but there were negotiations with France, Italy and Portugal.
Last year , Italy operated 2 leased planes to fight forest fires.
Since this is a rather large plane (full passenger capacity is 72) and expensive (around 35 milion euro). No country is going to buy a plane that will only be used during somer when the forest fires are raging.
And this is my point: Please let us hold that plane out of the hands of the military, they have already enough toys of their own.
If a European Civil Protection Service could buy , let's say 10 of those planes; we would have tremendous possibility's:
- forest fire fighting all over Europe when needed.
- Capacity to transport first aid where and when needed since the plane has the capacity, the speed and the range to accomplish this.
- The planes would never be without work to do : when they are not needed in Europ they can do disaster-relief-work almost all over the world.
Voilà, it's of my chest.
Former 'Special planes' posts=
Death from above.