The BERIEV BE-200 is a multipurpose amphibious aircraft being developed by the Beriev Aircraft Company as part of acooperative project with the Science and Production Corporation "Irkut".
Design Bureau "Progress" and joint stock company "Motor Sich" in Zaporozhiye designed and manufactured a specific "maritime" corrosion-resistant version of the D-436 engine specially for the Be-200 amphibian. The basic Be-200 version is used for aerial firefighting.
Beriev also offers models with a pressurised fuselage, including transport (Be-210), passenger, patrol and other special versions. There is an anti-submarine warfare version equipped with the "Morskoy Zmey" (Sea Dragon) search and targeting system.
The Be-200 first flew on September 24, 1998 from the airfield of the Irkutsk Aviation and Production Association. The amphibian took off from the water on September 10, 1999 in Taganrog.
The first prototype aircraft has successfully completed 650 flight hours and carries Russian certification as a fire fighting aircraft.
Seven aircraft are on order for the launch customer, TsENTROSPAS/MChS or the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. Three have been delivered, the first in June 2003.
The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations (MChS) was the first customer for the Be-200 and placed an order for seven Be-200ChS versions of the place to perform fire extinguishing operations, search and rescue, air ambulance, and cargo operations.
The second Be-200 took off from the runway of the Irkutsk Aviation and Production Company airfield on August 27, 2002. It was built in the Be-200ChS version with an equipment set meeting the requirements of the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
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.
The aircraft is capable of scooping 12t of water in 14 seconds from seas with waves up to 1.2m. The aircraft flies at speeds above a minimum drop speed of 220km/h to empty the water tanks over the site of the fire in 0.8 to 1.0 seconds.
The hull is of single step design with a high length to beam ratio, which contributes to the stability and controllability in water, and at landing and take-off.
The hull is constructed of aluminium and lithium alloys. The wings are fitted with underwing stabiliser floats.
In February 2004, Hawkins & Powers, a US company that specialises in fighting forest fires, signed a letter of intent for the sale of eight Be-200 aircraft with Irkut Corporation. The aircraft will be powered by the Rolls-Royce BR715 engines and are to be delivered in 2007.
In August 2004, Irkut leased one aircraft to the Protezione Civile of Italy for firefighting. The aircraft began operations in July 2005, on the island of Sardinia.
In June 2006, the Ministry of Internal Administration of Portugal signed a contract with Irkut for the lease of one Be-200 from July 2006 for firefighting.
Wingspan:31.8 m (104 ft 4 in)
two 7500 kgf (73.5 kN) Progress D-436TP engines (with options of BMW-Rolls-Royce Br-715-53 turbofan or Allison GMA-2100 turbofan)
Maximum speed: 710 km/h (440 mph)
(This text was adapted from http://www.wikipedia.org/ )(GFDL)
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