April 20, 2012 1 Comment
Friday, April 20, 2012 Taganrog, Russia Author: Randall Stephens
At the expense of Russia’s Beriev ASTC *, the Interagency Airtanker Board (IAB) is in Taganrog, Russia to evaluate tests of the Beriev, Be-200 amphibious aerial firefighting jet. From IES CEO, David Baskett today:
“The Sea of Azov has thawed, the sun is out and the USFS test preparation work is being done outdoors in good weather with the BE 200 jacked up and on special ramps for the static tests. Beriev was very well prepared for the arrival of the Phase 1 test team. The team contains two very professional USFS engineers who have been involved in testing most of the US Air tankers ranging from the S-2s to the 747 and C 130s plus the Martin Mars.
The test aircraft RF 21512 has been wired and probed and testing should start Monday. For 3 days we have been reviewing technical documentation with various Beriev department heads to include:
Maintenance, Avionics, Flight test, Fire Fighting systems, Structural testing ( to include a review of the continuing cycle testing now up more than 13,000 cycles for many items), Design, Engineering, Certification.
The aircraft manuals continue to add polish and fully conform to JAR (Europe) Part 25 which closely conforms with the FAA (FAR) Part 25“.
*ASTC = Aeronautical Scientific Technical Complex, – a Russian State Enterprise.
“Results of the Phase 1 testing will be evaluated May 1st”, according to Adrian Butash, adviser to International Emergency Services, of Santa Maria, CA. which has plans to import and operate the Be-200 against wildfires in the USA.
The U.S. Forest Service has had a hard time in recent years, with funding and a dwindling supply of aerial firefighting aircraft to support it’s mission. We can credit current USFS leadership which is now searching far and wide for modern aircraft to help save American lives and property. If the FAA grants a restricted type certificate and IAB approves the already proven Be-200, the jet powered amphibian could enter the U.S. fleet.