The new International Aviation and Space Salon stands out in a good way from the previous ones. At least when it comes to ordinary aviation enthusiasts. Earlier exhibitions have become something like "the attraction of unfulfilled hopes." MAKS-2019 stood apart, at which the appearance of the export version of the fifth generation Su-57 fighter - Su-57E was shown in a static parking lot (however, there were no "victories" on the world market). MAKS-2021 turned out to be more spectacular.
New generation fighter Checkmate
The main novelty of the air show was the unobtrusive Russian new generation Checkmate fighter. We are talking about an experimental prototype, not a mock-up, as previously suggested. Enough has already been said about the plane, but it makes sense to “walk” through the project. The aircraft is being proactively created by Sukhoi under the LTS Light Tactical Aircraft program. Before us is a budgetary export-oriented fighter. A kind of "cheap" Su-57. The main conceptual difference is one engine instead of two. Characteristic features - ventral air intake and V-shaped tail.
Calculated characteristics of Checkmate:
Speed: up to M = 1, 8-2;
Flight range: 3000 kilometers;
Ceiling: 16.5 kilometers;
Overload capacity: 8g;
Maximum payload mass: more than 7000 kilograms.
The fuselage can accommodate up to five air-to-air missiles. The armament can also include guided air-to-surface missiles Kh-31PD, Kh-35UE, Kh-38MLE (MTE), Kh-58USHKE, Kh-59MK, Grom-E1 and Grom-E2, guided bombs KAB-250LG-E, K08BE, K029BE and other types of aviation weapons. Checkmate's maiden flight is slated for 2023.
Light aircraft LMS-901 "Baikal"
The company "Baikal Engineering" for the first time showed at the air show a prototype of the light multipurpose aircraft LMS-901 "Baikal", about which they actively wrote and talked about in recent months. The car is positioned as a "people's" plane and a replacement for the legendary "cornman". The latter was produced in a series of 18 thousand units. It is used as an agricultural, sports and medical aircraft. For search and rescue operations and for cargo and passenger transportation.
It is not known whether the novelty will enjoy even a drop of the popularity of the "corn plant". You can make a more beautiful, lifting and even more reliable machine of this class. However, whether it will be possible to make the plane as cheap and unpretentious is a big question.
It is known that "Baikal" will accommodate up to nine passengers and will be able to reach speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour. The flight range is up to three thousand kilometers. The car should complete its first flight by the end of this year. An unmanned modification may appear in the future.
Multipurpose helicopter Mi-171A3
If we talk about helicopters, the most striking premiere is the prototype of the multipurpose Mi-171A3, which is a deep modernization of the Mi-8/17/171. According to Rostec, the new product received a number of significant differences from the Mi-171A2. First of all, a new airframe design with an accident-resistant fuel system integrated into the cargo floor, as well as a modernized avionics complex, supplemented by equipment for offshore operations and flights in the Arctic latitudes.
The Mi-171A3 helicopter can be used to transport people, cargo, as well as to carry out search and rescue operations. There is a possibility of additional installation of a special search complex, on-board winches and medical equipment. The operator can convert the vehicle into a search and rescue operator at its own base.
Among the main design features is the widespread use of composite materials. The helicopter can carry 24 passengers. At the same time, it is positioned as a cheaper and more economical analogue of existing Western cars.
After MAKSA, the prototype will be sent to the ground test program. The first flight should take place in early 2022.
Within the framework of the MAKS air show, for the first time, a prototype of the modified Ka-226T light helicopter was shown. The car was named "Alpinist" - it is perfectly adapted for flying in the highlands.
"The machine has a coaxial rotor design, which provides good controllability at the most extreme altitudes in thin air conditions, resistance to strong crosswinds, high climb rate, the ability to take off and land on sites located at high altitudes."
- says the Russian Helicopters website.
The modification differs from the previous ones with a new airframe design, which has significantly improved aerodynamics. The fuselage was made using modern lightweight materials. They want to start mass production of a new car in 2022.
Mikoyan Design Bureau Models
"MiG" at the exhibition against the general background looked, to put it mildly, faded, getting off with "declarations of intent." This is somewhat strange, because at the beginning of the year the news about the development of a promising fighter-interceptor MiG-41 thundered (in fairness, some data about the car was leaked to the Network before that).
“Development of the next generation of interceptor fighters has already begun. The project of the Prospective Aviation Complex for Long-Range Interception (PAK DP) under the symbol "MiG-41" is at the stage of development work."
- said then in the message.
MiG showed three notable models at the exhibition:
- Lightweight multifunctional aircraft;
- A promising multifunctional carrier-based fighter;
- A promising multifunctional deck UAV.
As rightly noted in the Su-57 (PAK FA T-50) / S-70 Okhotnik group dedicated to modern combat aviation, the emphasis on the naval component is noticeable. I must say, a little strange, considering the state of the only Russian aircraft carrier and how vague the fate of the ship that is to replace it looks like.
The most notable of the models shown is the UAV. The device is seen built according to the aerodynamic design "flying wing". It is both a percussion apparatus and a tanker.
One involuntarily recalls the American unmanned tanker aircraft Boeing MQ-25 Stingray, which, unlike the MiG concept, not only exists in hardware, but also flies. True, so far only as a prototype.
If we talk about other models, then they can hardly be called “revolutionary”. The light multipurpose aircraft resembles a cross between the Yak-130 and the Japanese X-2 Shinshin, a fifth-generation demonstrator.
A carrier-based aircraft is similar to an attempt to revive the MiG 1.44: it is difficult to imagine that such a machine will be of interest to someone now, but, on the other hand, anything is possible.
In addition to the devices mentioned above, other aircraft of the air show, which we have already seen in one way or another, deserve attention. First of all, we are, of course, talking about the main hope of the Russian civil aircraft industry - the MS-21 airliner. Also noteworthy are the Il-114-300 passenger aircraft, the new Il-112V military transport and the Ka-62 multipurpose helicopter.