Revive the Tu-334 and pull the An-2 out of the barn. We figure out which planes the Russians will now have to fly

Pilot Vladimir Popov answered the most exciting questions.

Boeing and Airbus have terminated cooperation with our carriers. Since March 6, Russian airlines have stopped flying abroad by decision of the Federal Air Transport Agency – “due to the high risk of detention or arrest of aircraft of Russian airlines abroad.” If officials fail to pull off a trick with the nationalization of foreign aircraft (according to RBC, the Ministry of Transport considered this method as one of the options for solving the problem with leasing), then it remains only to use the domestic aviation industry. What state is he in?

We have heard a lot about the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft. But its operational capabilities are very limited by its flight range (about 3000 km in the standard version) and capacity (98 seats in the basic configuration). Now its modification is being prepared – Sukhoi Superjet New – which is being developed with the maximum import substitution of foreign components. According to the CEO of Rostec Sergey Chemezov, about 97% of foreign components will be replaced in the new Superjet. Its operation is planned to start in 2024.

And what is there in Russia besides Sukhoi? Questions from MSK1.RU were answered by Vladimir Popov, Major General, Head of the Federal Directorate for Aerospace Search and Rescue under the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Honored Military Pilot of Russia.

— Tell us about Russian passenger aircraft.

We have many planes. IL-96-300 and IL-96-400. IL-112 and IL-114 – whether we like it or not, we already have them. It is necessary to revive the Tu-334. Make a political decision – Putin first of all – and restore the production of this aircraft. Physically. He was tested, received certification in due time. Now it needs to be transferred to new engines, to replace metal with carbon fiber, which is what we are doing now. MS-21 also needs to be put on the conveyor, without waiting for the end of the tests – and the main ones have already passed, now the certification ones are underway. It is also necessary to restore everything that is from small aircraft. All An-2s that are in storage. L-410, which we have, we can produce them ourselves. This will help to increase passenger traffic. There are Superjet 100s, there are old aircraft that have remained in storage and carry out separate cargo transportation such as Tu-154, Tu-134, An-12, An-26. They also need to be included in the flight support system, the provision of domestic passenger airlines. They are restricted in international use by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization. – Ed.) due to noise and emissions of exhaust gases. Yes, we still need to contact ICAO.

– Why?

– ICAO member states, without the consent of the international civil aviation organization, take a political solution to the problem, which should generally be decided by ICAO. Why do we pay $80-90 million contributions there? For us to be harmonized included in the system of using the world’s airspace. What is missing today. The sovereignty of international airspace has not been canceled. And contractual obligations for the use of air, air traffic control and the operation of airports in foreign countries must be observed in accordance with international norms, rules and requirements. Unless, of course, force majeure circumstances make it necessary to change certain provisions. And force majeure is clearly spelled out there. There were no political issues.

“MS-21 also needs to be put on the conveyor without waiting for the end of the tests”

— What do you think about the listed aircraft?

– Normal planes. For domestic flights according to flight characteristics (flight performance), they are quite enough. You need to be ready for another state of affairs. We have quite a lot of transport aircraft. I mean both in the civilian sector, where cargo transportation is carried out, and in the military sector. We need to think about how to mobilize the civil sector in the interests of passenger traffic. Yes, perhaps, comfort will be absent to some extent, the system will not be so well-established to enjoy the flight, we will carry people instead of cargo. On IL-76, as an option. Or maybe even simultaneously use a certain amount of military aviation in the interests of civilian infrastructure. Why not? We need to put into operation what we have in storage. Set a goal to restore everything within two to three months. At any price. Work for days and use everything that more or less meets safety requirements in the interests of transporting the population. On another it is impossible.

— What else needs to be done? your options.

– We must not rely on commercial aviation companies, but transfer them either to a joint military-civilian appointment with the lion’s share of state capital, or create state-owned companies. Let small, just for a while, while there are sanctions. When the economy is on its knees due to the fact that Western aircraft prevail over civil aviation in our country. What can you do? We must pass. And that would be the right approach. I am not calling for the restoration of the Soviet system. I think this is the way out.