Unfinished USSR project had goal of a 50,000-gallon air tanker

USSR Rescuer
Before the USSR collapsed, the government was designing the “Rescuer” which could carry 200 tons of water. This is the unfinished project at the Central Design Bureau. Alekseeva.

Before the USSR collapsed, their government was attempting to develop an aircraft that could carry 500 to 700 tons of cargo or serve as a water-scooping air tanker carrying 50,000 gallons of water.

It is not clear if it is a ground effect vehicle that would be restricted to flying 10 to 20 feet above a surface, or if it could also fly high enough to drop water on wildfires. It is a little difficult to determine the details based on the very crudely machine-translated article from Aviation of Russia, which is below:

“The Central Design Bureau (TsKB) for hydrofoil ships named after Alekseev (Nizhny Novgorod) has good groundwork on heavy ekranoplans, which could be used to extinguish large forest fires with greater efficiency than airplanes, reported Chairman of the Board of Directors – General Designer of the Central Design Bureau Georgy Antsev.

“ ‘Speaking of fires, we have serious work on the development of the Spasatel ekranoplan, where we go into tonnages from 500 to 700 tons. We have a series of proposals for the construction of ekranoplanes, where we can already talk about the tasks of fire fighting,’ Antsev said.

“According to him, such an ekranoplan could take about 200 tons of water as a load and dump it in the same time that IL-76 aircraft dump only 40 tons. Antsev emphasized that the advantage of ekranoplanes is that water does not need to be pumped at airfields from fire tanks, as is now happening with the IL-76. It takes a lot of time and is technically difficult. WIG can take water in large rivers or large bodies of water.

“Such characteristics of an ekranoplan, such as excess weight, characteristic of high-strength machines, designed for good performance in conditions of frequent water hammer, are compensated by the economy when flying in screen mode. In addition, the ekranoplanes are unpretentious to the places of basing – they can stand on the water or go ashore with a slight slope (up to 5%).

“Antsev added that he does not consider the ekranoplanes a panacea for extinguishing forest fires, but noted their effectiveness in the fight against large foci.

” ‘In a disaster, there is no one means. For something you still have to get and put out by plane and helicopter, you have to get somewhere on foot. In high-intensity fires and the battle over the area, the ekranoplan gives a significant gain in the amount of water discharged by unit area in a shorter time. If we talk about intense fires, it helps to ‘crush’ the source,’ said the general designer.

“Wing Rescuer is the second instance of the project 903, the first was an impact Wing-rocket carrier ‘Lun’. The ‘rescue’ was also pledged as a missile carrier, but the collapse of the USSR led to the cessation of financing and the conservation of the vessel at the 95% readiness stage.”

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Isaac. Typos or errors, report them HERE.

Another Be-200ES delivered to Russia’s firefighting agency

The third of six that have been ordered was delivered in December


Above: The third Be-200ES has been delivered to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. UAC photo.

(Originally published at 11:05 a.m. MT February 3, 2018)

The Beriev Aircraft Company continues to roll out their amphibious scooping Be-200ES firefighting air tankers at their Taganrog manufacturing facility in Southwest Russia. In December the company delivered the third of six that have been ordered by Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has ordered one Be-200ES air tanker capable of fighting fires and another four of the Be-200PS version that would serve other purposes.

The Beriev Be-200ES manufacturing facility at Taganrog, Russia in 2016. Photo: Fotografersha

Beriev began manufacturing the Be-200 in 2003. It is one of the few purpose-built air tankers, designed primarily for fighting wildland fires. The aircraft can land or take off on water or land, and the firefighting version can scoop water to refill its 3,000-gallon tanks. It can be converted to haul passengers or serve as a search and rescue aircraft, landing on water to retrieve victims if necessary.

The Beriev Aircraft Company is a branch of the United Aircraft Corporation. It is primarily owned by the Russian government and produces special purpose and amphibious aircraft.  According to Wikipedia they have manufactured 10 Be-200’s of various configurations since 2003. The company hopes to produce four annually for the next three to four years.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Isaac.
Typos or errors, report them HERE.

Massive helicopter used in wildfire on Russia/China border

Click on the photos to see larger versions.

The automatic translation from Bing about the Russian-made Mi-26 helicopter:

Cross-border forest fires occurred in Russia, driven by China in Mongolia Autonomous daeheung an Ridge North. Join the Wu troops in Mongolia and Heilongjiang total fire fighting!

And Google’s auto-translation:

Forest fires occurred in Russia crossed the border and spread to the northern part of Daixing Anrill in China ‘s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Forest Takeshi Kaiuchi Mongolia · Heilongji Squadron participate in firefighting activities.

Fire monitoring helicopter crashes in Russia, reportedly killing three

A helicopter used for monitoring wildfires crashed May 4 in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan, according to TASS which received information from regional emergency services. Three people were on board when it went down 30 kilometers south of the community of Inzer in the Beloretsk district. The reports are that there were no survivors.

Below is an excerpt from TASS:

The helicopter belonged to the Lightair company. The news it went missing came at 14:20 Moscow time. The helicopter had left Bashkortostan’s capital Ufa for Beloretsk. The distress signal from its emergency beacon was picked up by a satellite rescue system. The local office of the Investigative Committee has launched a probe.

Our sincere condolences go out to the family, friends, and coworkers.

Photo of Russian firefighters mobilized for a fire in Siberia

По обращению Правительства Бурятии об оказании помощи в удержании под контролем лесопожарной обстановки, оперативный штаб Рослесхоза направил 50 авиапожарных ФБУ «Авиалесоохрана» на тушение лесных пожаров в регионе #ПДПС#парашютисты#десантники#пожарные#помощь#Бурятия#нацпарк#Тункинский#поджогисухойтравы#проблема#нарушение#Россия#Сибирь#мера#недопустить#лес#Авиалесоохрана#Avialesookhrana#Берегилес#smokejumpers#СМИ#ТВ

A post shared by Федеральная Авиалесоохрана (@avialesookhrana) on

About 50 wildland firefighter in Russia were mobilized to assist with a wildfire in Buryatia, a mountainous Russian republic in eastern Siberia.

Below is the Google translation of the image’s caption:

Avialesookhrana According to the appeal of the Government of Buryatia to assist in keeping the fire situation under control, the operational headquarters of the Federal Forestry Agency sent 50 air firefighters “Avialesoohrana” to extinguish forest fires in the region
# PAPC # paratroopers # paratroopers # firefighters # help # Buryatia # national park # Tunkinsky # arsons of dry grass # problem # violation # Russia # Siberia # measure # not # forest # Avialesookhrana # Avialesookhrana # Berehiles # smokejumpers # media # TV

And while we’re on the subject of airborne firefighters, back in America:

Aircraft on skis

Russian smokejumper aircraft

The Avialesookhrana Instagram account frequently posts photos of Russian smokejumpers. This type of aircraft, now outfitted with skis, appears to be an air tanker and/or a jumper aircraft in the summer.

Google translated the above caption:

avialesookhrana # forest # flame # borbasognem # heroism # paratroopers # paratroopers # Avialesookhrana # lesnoypozhar # Avialesookhrana # Forest # fire # firefighter # smokejumpers # bomberos # Aviation # helicopter # plane # firefighterslife # helicopter # aviation # aviales # extreme # FFA # Media # TV ecology # # # the nature of the profession

Russian air tanker bi-wing

Russia smokejumpers


Through the eyes of a child: Russian Smokejumpers

Авиалесоохрана глазами детей. Рисунок «Помощь с воздуха» Борисовой Маши,14 лет.#лес#лесные_пожарные#пламя#борьбасостихией#героизм#парашютисты#десантники#Авиалесоохрана#леснойпожар#Avialesookhrana#Forest#fire#firefighter#smokejumpers#лесныепожары#bomberos#авиация#firefighterslife#helicopter#aviation#aviales#экстрим#самолет#Рослесхоз#экология#профессия#зеленыелегкиепланеты#сохранимприроду#сохраняялеса_сохраняемРоссию

A photo posted by Федеральная Авиалесоохрана (@avialesookhrana) on

According to Google Translate, the caption reads:

Avialesookhrana the eyes of children. Figure “from the air Help” Borisova Masha, 14

Agreement sought to manufacture Be-200 air tankers in California

The aircraft would be manufactured in Santa Maria, California.

A businessman in Santa Maria, California, who has long been interested in the Russian-made Be-200 scooping air tanker, is pursuing still another avenue to use the aircraft in the United States.

David Baskett is the director of Santa Maria’s airport, president of TTE International, and is associated with International Emergency Services (IES).  Campaigning for years to import the 3,000-gallon Be-200 air tanker, in 2010 he arranged for one of the aircraft to visit the United States. It was on display at Santa Maria, California and made a demonstration water drop. Mr. Baskett said then that his plan was to purchase 10 of the aircraft and lease them to air tanker operators in the United States.

A Be-200ES rolls out for the public while another makes a demonstration water drop. May 30, 2016 at the Beriev factory in Taganrog, Russia.

Now he says he is working with the Beriev Aircraft Company (that makes the aircraft), Global Seaplanes, and Airbus to manufacture the aircraft in Santa Maria. He hopes that the air tanker will receive FAA certification.

Several years ago some U.S. Forest Service employees traveled to Taganrog, Russia the home base of the Beriev company, to conduct tests to determine if the Be-200 could be approved by the Interagency AirTanker Board (IAB). At the time, we heard unofficial reports that it met the criteria for water-scooping air tankers, but tests were not completed for dropping fire retardant.

This is not the first announcement that the Be-200 would be manufactured in the United States. In 2014 USA Firefighting Air Corps (USAFAC) said they signed a collaboration agreement with IES to produce the Be-200 in Colorado. USAFAC co-founder Chris Olson told the Colorado Wildfire Matters Review Committee that the company was in discussions with international financiers to back the initiative’s $500 million proposition.

USAFAC at the same time was proposing to convert the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt into an air tanker.