Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2010 Contents 42 AsianAviation | MAY 2010
a TA12-60 auxiliary power unit (APU), housed in the
right wing root, enabling it to start up and take o from
the water without assistance.
The Be-200's long, slim hull has been designed
to be highly stable and easily controllable on water.
With the assistance of various hydrodynamic features,
the big amphibian can take o and land in waves up
to 1.2m (4 ) high. Several watertight compartments
divide up the hull in order to keep the aircra a oat
even if damaged. In addition, the fuselage is completely
watertight and sealed against smoke ingestion. e
cabin is also pressurised and air conditioned.
A large pod under the root of each wing holds the
main legs of the tricycle-type landing gear, which has
sturdy twin-wheels on all units, allowing the Be-200
to operate from class-B air elds with 1,800m runways.
On water, the aircra can operate in depths of more
e two ight crew are seated in a sophisticated,
modern cockpit with six 152 x 203mm (6 x 8 inch)
LCD displays that show all necessary mission
information. Unlike most other large aircra , the Be-
200 has ghter-style joystick ight controls. A y-by-
wire digital ight control system with autopilot makes
the aircra agile for its size and easy to y. Good low-
speed handling, necessary for re ghting operations,
is achieved through high-li features like leading-edge
slats and trailing-edge aps over the full span of the
The Be-200 has a modern avionics suite, with
ARIA 200-M digital ight and navigation systems
manufactured by American-Russian Integrated
Avionics, a joint venture between Honeywell and
Moscow Research Institute of Aircra Equipment
(NIIAO). It features many useful re ghting features
such as water-source/drop-zone path memorisation,
which can automatically return the aircra to the
location of the previous water drop. A nose-mounted
MN-85 weather radar allows all-weather operations.
Other avionics include a GPS, Inertial Navigation
System and Flight Management System.
Although designed as a multipurpose amphibian,
the baseline Be-200 (also known as the Be-200ES) is
con gured for re ghting. It is capable of carrying 12
tonnes (26,455 lb) of water in eight tanks under the
cabin oor. ese are lled by four retractable water
scoops, although the Be-200 can also be lled on the
ground. In addition, six tanks in the cabin can hold 1.2
cubic metres (42 cubic feet) of chemicals, such as re-
To completely ll the water tanks the Be-200 needs
14 seconds to skim the water and can do this in seas
with waves that are up to 1.2m high. e tanks can be
emptied in 0.8 to 1 second whilst ying at 220kmh
(135mph) or more, but since the water tanks have
individually operated doors, the water can be released
slowly over up to eight drops.
The water tanks can be quickly removed to
accommodate up to 7 500 kg of cargo in the
unobstructed cabin, which measures 17m by 2.6m
and is 1.9m high. e cargo-con gured aircra has
oor-mounted handling equipment for pallets and
containers. Alternatively, the Be-200ES can carry as
many as 44 passengers.
e Altair can be equipped for search and rescue
(SAR) and out tted with items of equipment such as
naval radios, a loudspeaker, searchlight and obser ver's
station. It can accommodate an Orion 25S in atable
boat, 20 in atable ra s, two four-seat motorboats or
57 seats and attachment points for 30 stretchers. In the
air ambulance role the Be-200 can carry seven medical
personnel or seated casualties and 30 stretchers in three
Beriev is promoting the Altair as a passenger aircra
for luxury tourism, rural transportation and places
where it is environmentally unfriendly or nancially
prohibitive to build airstrips. e airliner variant of
the Altair, known as the Be-210, can accommodate 72
tourist class passengers at a seat pitch of 75cm (29.5
inches), with two cabin attendants. Alternatively, 10
rst class and 32 business class passengers can be carried
at a seat pitch of up to 102cm, with provision for a
galley, lavatory and baggage stowage. e Be-210 has
a strengthened airframe for extra fuel and an increased
ferry range from 3,850km (2,400 miles) to 4,600km.
Other variants under development include an anti-
submarine warfare version (Be-200P), a paramilitary
maritime patrol version (Be-220), dedicated search and
rescue variant (Be-200PS), an ecolog y-control variant
and a bush airline version.
e Be-200 is Beriev's rst major international project
and the company hopes it will capture a large portion
of the world amphibian market. e United Aircra
Corporation estimates international demand for 50 to
70 aircra over the next 15 years, and will build several
airframes a year. Only half of expected demand will be
for the re ghting variant as Beriev aims to branch out
from this niche market and promote its other Altair
The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations
(TsENTROSPAS/MChS) became the rst customer
to place a rm order for the Be-200. On 15 January
1997, it signed a US$140 million contract for seven
re ghting aircra , with training and maintenance
support. e ministry ultimately plans to acquire 20 Be-
200s, some of which will be search and rescue variants.
e rst Russian aircra was delivered to the MChS
on 31 July 2003 and deliveries were completed in 2008.
To date, Azerbaijan has been the only foreign country
to purchase the aircra . e Azerbaijan Ministry of
Emergencies received its rst and only Altair on 25
April 2008 and will use it largely for ghting forest res.
There has been a lot of interest in the Be-200
from around the world, including Algeria, Australia,
Kazakhstan, Malaysia and Turkey, and the aircra has
fought res in France, Germany, Malaysia, China and
For many years, China has expressed interest in
purchasing around ten Be-200s and at one stage even
considered building the aircra under license at Harbin.
Little came of these plans until April 2009, when the
The glass cockpit features ARIA 200-M digital flight and navigation
systems, manufactured by American-Russian Integrated Avionics.
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