EASY AMPHIBIAN BE-103On the globe there are numerous plots of land that has an extensive Maritime border and a significant number of inland waters. To the greatest extent meet these criteria Canada, North Eastern United States, Australia, New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, the Caribbean, Siberia and the far East of the Russian Federation. All these and other island territories represent the most promising market for light aircraft amphibians, especially because in most of the above countries and regions already have experience of using this technique. Today in operation there are a few thousand light seaplanes and amphibians.


The lungs of amphibians can effectively fill the functional niche between land planes and helicopters, in particular for the carriage of passengers and goods in the regions where underdeveloped network of conventional airfields and there are a large number of rivers and lakes. Amphibian aircraft capable of taking off and landing on the water, can effectively solve such tasks as the fight against smugglers and poachers, search and rescue operations at sea, monitoring of the ecological state of the aquatic environment, patrolling forest areas, and operational extinguish small pockets of fire.


It is not surprising that in recent years in Russia there were many seaplanes of similar class developed by different design teams and, as a rule, with classical hydrodynamic schemes Alone in this series is created in Taganrog amphibian be-103.


Development of the light multipurpose amphibian be-103 has started at the Taganrog aviation scientific-technical complex (TANTK). G. M. Beriev in the early 1990s. the Project was proactive and had two main goals. First, to fulfill the hydro – and aerodynamic configuration of super-heavy seaplanes with take-off weight of more than 500 tons, and secondly, since the time of the “advanced” conversion, create a multi-purpose amphibian for use in transportation by air local lines in the country (and especially in Siberia and the far East).

The fact that the be-103 was to become a large-scale flying model led to very unusual for machines of this class Aerohydrodynamic layout: with a low-monoplane, semi-displacement and planing wing. This scheme was a novelty for Taganrog specialists. It was used more in projects heavy flying boat LL-600 and A-150, developed in OKB headed by G. M. Beriev in the 60-ies of the last century.

The implementation of the concept vaudoises-present wing with the possibility of gliding on three points (at redan, right and left rear edges of the wing) gave a significant gain in stability of the water on landing modes and improving the seaworthiness of the machine. The low position of the wing relative to the boat, in turn creating additional lift force due to dynamic air cushion and reduced drag due to the proximity effect of the earth on takeoff and landing. This allowed to abandon the flap, to simplify and lighten the airframe. But it was still only theoretical calculations and results of laboratory tests on models. Needed to practice a new concept, at the same time getting real data on flying seaplane.

Be-103 No. 3103 with weather radar.


The be-103 No. 3103 with weather radar.


According to the initial draft of the new amphibian had to have a T-tail, tricycle landing gear with tail wheel. The calculated maximum takeoff weight was 1600 kg, payload — 375 kg, maximum speed — 230 km/h, maximum range of flight — 3150 km. Two 175-horsepower engine M-17 located on pylons in the rear fuselage. In the cabin housed the pilot and five passengers and a Luggage compartment. In the ambulance version — two patients on stretchers and accompanying medical staff.


In the process of designing the appearance of the aircraft has changed, the be-103 received mid-all-moving horizontal tail and undercarriage with front leg support. Were studied and other options, in particular, single-engine. But finally settled on two engines, as the plane had to comply with the requirements of Russian aviation regulations AP-23 regulations Federal aviation register of the United States.


A serious problem in a period of General recession and widespread violations of the years, networking has become a search the production plant for the manufacture of new amphibians.


Initially it was planned to build the aircraft at an engineering plant in Lukhovitsy near Moscow. The first flying prototype of the be-103 was to leave its Assembly plant in the second half of 1994, and in 1995 it was planned to start the test. However, for a number of reasons, these plans never materialized. Tank had to find a new partner. They became the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft production Association (KnAAPO), which in the early 1990s, solving the problem of conversion, chose to implement two civilian vehicles: s-80 and be-103


The final decision on the construction of the first experimental airplanes in Komsomolsk-on-Amur was made in early 1995. The first series was to consist of four machines: two for flight and two for static and endurance tests. By this time, the structure of the power plant of the be-103 has changed. The place of a missing M-17 (with very dim prospects of obtaining them in the foreseeable future) took two American (certified in Russia) piston engine Teledyne Continental Motors TCM-I0-360ES4.


The start-up of drawings to production was completed in July 1995. The first flying prototype of the be-103 (serial No. 3001, RA — 37019) was built by KnAAPO and delivered in Taganrog. In public, the plane appeared even before its first flight, taking part in the First international exhibition and scientific conference on hydroaviation “Gelendzhik-96”, held from 24 to 29 September 1996. Although the be-103 was shown only on static display, the new amphibian aroused great interest, constantly drawing attention to themselves as professionals and journalists and ordinary visitors.


After the end of the cabin amphibious aircraft returned to Taganrog, where he continued his preparation for the flight test. Test pilot of the be-103 was V. N. Ulyanov. At the same time to conduct static testing of transport Il-76 delivered to Taganrog KnAAPO another be-103 (serial No. 3003).


After ground testing equipment, debugging of the design (the aircraft was equipped with a hydraulic emergency valves opening entrance hatch) and Jogging amphibian finally prepared for the first flight.


The be-103 for the first time rose into the air from the factory airfield in Taganrog 15 July 1997. The first flight lasted 12 minutes, the plane was piloted by V. N. Ulyanov. Simultaneously with flight tests of the first prototype at KnAAPO completed the second flight and the resource instances of the be-103 (factory No. 3002 and # 3004, respectively).


In mid-August, making a total of about 30 test flights, the plane flew from Taganrog in Zhukovsky. Planned its part in the International aviation and space salon MAKS-97. But on 18 August 1997, the day before the opening of the salon, while performing a training flight the first prototype be-103 crashed, test pilot V. N. Ulyanov died.


This disaster was a heavy blow for tank and KnAAPO, but still working on the program it was decided to continue. Now the pilot of the be-103 was V. P. Dubenskiy.


In order not to disrupt the testing schedule, car number 3004 of the resource instance was flying. At the same time in Komsomolsk-on-Amur construction began on three machines: for certification testing (No. 3102), for operational tests and demonstration flights (No. 3103), and another (No. 3101) is to replace the endurance test of the be-103 No. 3004.


Built the second flying prototype of the be-103 (serial number 3002, RA-03002) transport Il-76 moved to Taganrog, where on 17 November 1997, the test pilot V. P. Dubenskiy lifted him into the air from the ground and continued the flight test program. Only in 1997, the second be-103 was carried out 13 flights.


Next year, April 6, testing continued with the execution of flight from the factory airfield. 9 APR started sea testing phase, the aircraft was flown by V. P. Dubenskiy. The first phase of high speed tests was to determine the behavior of the aircraft on the modes of navigation, taxiing, in the circulations, the output of the planing until the takeoff, and the characteristics of the Briz-gobrisbane, loads on the airframe and comparing the results of flight tests with the calculated hydro-meteorological conditions from calm to excitement with a wind wave height of 0.35 m and ripples — to 0.17 m. the Takeoff and landing weight is the maximum.


13 and April 15 was Jogging with access to the redan at speeds up to takeoff.

The morning of April 24 after performing Jogging on preduzetni speed, in 9 hours 32 minutes Moscow time-V. P. Dubenskiy first raised the be-103 in the air with water. After 12 minutes amphibian “clean” from the village on the step, without any skipping or hesitation (and the mileage was much less than estimated, only 150 — 200 m), after which poroila gidropushki where present began to swing left the cabin the hero of the day — the test pilot.


After a thorough inspection of the aircraft to determine the status of the power set of boats and planes aircraft flying from the water continued on April 30. May 7, my first flight on the be-103 was made by the test pilot G. G. Kalyuzhny. In late June, V. P. Dubenskiy surpassed the be-103 from Taganrog to Noumea, where the aircraft 1 through July 5, took part in the Second international exhibition on hydroaviation “Gelendzhik-98”.


Although the aircraft was no longer a novelty, “Gelendzhik-98” was held the first public demonstration of amphibious, so to speak, “in all its glory” in his native element. Now visitors to the exhibition were able to observe the flight of the be-103 with water.


After returning from the exhibition the test was continued, and during the break between the amphibian showed the official Israeli delegation (headed by the Ambassador of the state of Israel), visited tand 28 July 1998. It is worth noting that the guests of the be-103 was flown with water and the height of wind waves that day reached 0.4 m.


In the winter of 1999 to prepare for the first flight of the third flying prototype of the be-103 (serial No. 3004, RA-30004) to Komsomolsk-on-Amur, left the team tank. Third the be-103 took to the air from the airfield KnAAPO 19 February 1999 V. P. Dubenskiy. The flight lasted 20 minutes. Further testing of the aircraft continued factory test pilot A. B., Polanco.


In the spring be-103 (No. 3002) began to prepare to participate in the International salon of light and sport aviation “AERO-99”, held in the German Friedrichshafen. In the period from 15 to 18 April 1999 the be-103 flew on the route Taganrog — Voronezh — Bryansk — Gomel — Brest — Wroclaw — Prague — Friedrichshafen. Flew the plane V. P. Dubenskiy. After the exhibition, during which the car managed to do two training and only one demonstration flight, however, caused a great interest of specialists and the General public, amphibian flew to the airfield Wallmuhle near the German city of Straubing, which is firm MT-Propeller — the manufacturer of the propellers installed on the aircraft.

Be-103 No. 3103.



The be-103 No. 3103.

It was planned that the machine will perform a series of routine operations for determining vibration characteristics of the propeller, and then return to Taganrog, therefore came April 29 from Germany the news of the disaster be-103 for takeoff and the death of VP Dubin-ray was a real shock.


About 16 h 30 min local time of the be-103 for takeoff running along the strip is almost double the distance of normal, barely off the ground and, having failed to gain altitude, crashed into the dam on the Danube. The cause of the tragedy was the attempt of the pilot to lift the plane into the air at partial engine power. As in 1997, the continuation of work on the aircraft again became questionable. Again, after weighing all the “pros” and “cons”, heads tank and KnAAPO decided program be-103 to close.


Although the loss of two first flight instances significantly delayed the progress of the certification program, 6 June, the transport Il-76 flew from Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the third flight of the be-103 (No. 3004). Naturally, the two disasters strongly damped reputation of the aircraft in the eyes of the test pilots. In these conditions, its pilot became a test pilot G. G. Kalyuzhny. Was also released technical documentation on upgrading the machine, including the strengthening of the airframe and installation of fixed slats. Zarabotanye kits were produced at KnAAPO.


Flight tests have not yet finalized aircraft resumed taking off from the airfield on 29 September 1999. Flying ceased in December, when both be-103 (another amphibian No. 3103 in the “exhibition” white color brought on the Il-76 with the Komsomol of the plant October 9) was placed in the shop for performance improvements. At the same time similarly fine-tuned the instance to the static test No. 3003, and in Komsomolsk-on-Amur was completed be-103 (serial No. 3102) — the car was equipped with domestic avionics. She was taken by plane to Taganrog on 27 November 2000. “Exhibition” amphibian No. 3103 was supposed to be an advertising machine. Debut scheduled for the air show LIMA-1999 in Malaysia However, due to the need for improvements in the year abroad she never got.


Modified the be-103 No. 3004 flew on 14 April 2000, G. Kalyuzhny, and then resumed training and flight program of preliminary tests from both land and water. From April 24 to test-connected test pilot tank K. V. Babich, he was later joined by H. H. Okhotnikov and V. L. Fortushnov. In total, by the beginning of may 2000 and the flight test program be-103 was completed about 200 flights.


10 August 2000 G. G. Kalyuzhny took to the air first from the airfield, and then with water fourth amphibian (No. 3103). The car is still not carrying a registration and were not equipped with control and recording equipment (ACA). Later, with the number RA-03103, it was shown in Gelendzhik at the Third international exhibition on hydroaviation “Gidroaviasalon-2000”, held from 6 to 10 September.


In March 2001, the be-103 (No. 3103) equipped weather radar Bendix King, and on April 19, 2001 by K. V. Babich and Navigator A. B. Bocharov held a flight on the route Taganrog — Voronezh — Gomel — Brest — Prague — Friedrichshafen at the next exhibition — “AERO 2001”. Just like two years ago, the be-103 was a great success, taking advantage of the increased interest of specialists and attention of a large audience, perform, in addition to training, three of the demo – tional flight. After the exhibition, before returning to Taganrog, on RA-03103 in Straubing successfully passed testing propellers. Later, in August, the same aircraft participated in the MAKS-2001. The car was piloted by test pilot G. G. Kalyuzhny.

After receiving the August 2001 certificate of type on amphibian be-200 before tank faced with the task until the end of the year to perform certification testing program for the be-103. I would catch the weather and flew a lot (up to 10 flights a day).


By the end of 2001, the certification program, including such a complex element as flying a flutter was successfully performed. 26 December 2001, the General Director of JSC “Beriev. G. M. Beriev” — G. S. Panatov for this aircraft was awarded a type certificate the normal category of aviaregistr of the Interstate Aviation Committee.


In the framework of certification testing on the aircraft be-103 was performed on 263 flights, of which 59 of the water.


In July 2002, the be-103 (No. 3102, RA-03102) took part in the international air show “Civil aircraft — 2002”, held in Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, and in September of amphibians (No. 3102 and # 3103) performed a “duet” during the Fourth International exhibition and scientific conference on hydroaviation “Gidroaviasalon-2002”, Fly them G. G. Kalyuzhny from tank and Yu. M. Kabanov from GosNII GA. In one of the demonstration flights of Yu. M. Kabanov was taken to be-103 the Deputy commander in chief of the Russian air force armament YES Morozova, who got acquainted with the new amphibian in the air.

Be-103 No. 3103.

In 2003, in addition to the traditional participation in MAKS-2003, amphibian went “over the sea”. In July, the Russian amphibian first appeared on the North American continent. In September — October tend the name of G. M. In conjunction with Beriev KnAAPO presented a plane-amphibian be-103 in the International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition “LIМА-2003”.

During the opening of the marine part of the exhibition the be-103 (RA-03103) brilliantly demonstrated their abilities in front of the Prime Minister of Malaysia Mohammad Mahathera. Then, in the course of the exhibition. participated in demonstration flights from land and water. On static display at the airport with the be-103 has acquainted His Majesty the king of Malaysia Diram, Juan-ku Syed Sirajuddin.


Certificate, the POPPY has become important, but only the first step of the be-103 to the international market of aviation equipment. So the plane finally turned into a real product, it was necessary to remove a number of operational constraints and to carry out certification according to international standards. By this time in Komsomolsk-on-Amur has fully mastered the technology of production of be-103 and prepared the necessary tooling.


But, in order to access the amphibious path on these very promising markets (primarily North America) on the agenda was a task of certification of the Taganrog cars in the United States. Partner tank and KnAAPO in America was a businessman from new Jersey, Kent Linn, Sky Manor Airport.


In accordance with the Agreement between K. Lynn, JSC “KNAAPO”, JSC “Beriev. G. M. Beriev”, an American businessman became the official dealer of the be-103 in North America. He became the first customer of amphibians, ordered three aircraft.


Program execution certification according to FAR-23 began in late 2001, held in accordance with the Bilateral intergovernmental agreement on aviation security between Russia and the United States, with the direct participation of the Aviation register of the Interstate aviation Committee.


Thanks to the agreement, by this point, the prisoner between the Russian side and Kent Linn, representatives from the FAA, taking into account the presence of the customer on the aircraft be-103 in the face of a US citizen, during the certification constructive approach to cooperation with the Russian side.


Nevertheless, it was done large amount of work. On certification specialists tank several times visited the United States. Visited Russia and representatives of the FAA. In March 2003, the certification process machines American test pilot made in Taganrog, a series of flights to the be-103, including measurement noise on the ground, and for a stall. According to the overseas experts, the Russian amphibious fully meets the requirements of FAR-23, good management and, most importantly, available for the development of an American pilot of average skill. The certification program was completed in the summer of 2003 and 11 July, the FAA issued a be-103 your certificate type.


Assembly of the first serial batch amphibian be-103 on the ordering of K. Lynn began in the summer of 2002. A year later the first three aircraft (serial number 3301, 3302 and 3303) was built. One amphibian (No. 3301) was designed for use by Linn, and for the purpose of advertising, while the other two (No. 3302 and # 3303) — for sale. Lead car series took to the air from the factory airfield on 2 July 2003 test pilot KnAAPO V. A. Huber. All three aircraft in a short time successfully passed factory tests and was ready for shipment to the United States.


The transmission of the first serial machines the customer has decided to coincide with held from 29 July to 4 August 2003, the city of Oshkosh (USA, Wisconsin) the annual exhibition Air Venture 2003, organized by the American Association experimental aircraft, EAA. This exhibition is the largest showcase of General aviation not only in USA but throughout the world. The best place for the presentation of new amphibians to potential buyers and just the North American aviation community to think hard.


Across the ocean the be-103 has decided not to overtake. and transported on Board the An-124 “Ruslan”. On 23 July the three aircraft be-103 and additional equipment with a total weight of 10 t delivered to An-124-100 of “Volga — Dnepr” from Komsomolsk-on-Amur route with a total length of 10 thousand km to the airport Wittmann in Oshkosh.


Demonstrated at Air Venture-2003 Russian amphibian, no doubt, become one of the most striking pages of the exhibition. One aircraft (no. 3302) was on static display, the second (№3301) — hydrobase. Amphibian, based on hydrobase, in the course of the exhibition was at the water Park and performed demonstration flights from the water, which was a huge success. Performed test pilot KnAAPO V. A. Huber. Numerous visitors of the exhibition interested in new Russian aircraft, were always as near the be-103, and the joint exposure KnAAPO and his American partner Sky Manor Airport. A considerable role was played by the unusual appearance of the species is strikingly different from the traditional seaplanes.


July 31, 2003 in the press center of the exhibition took place the official presentation and handover of the type Certificate for the aircraft-amphibian be-103. After the exhibition the aircraft be-103, the customer is formally transferred. The planes were surpassed in the Sky Manor airport and got us registered. By the beginning of November 2003, “advertising” Be-103 (No. 3301, N13KL) made five flights, flew in the skies of America over 70 hours, having during this time about 100 takeoffs and landings on land and more than 200 takeoffs and landings from the water.


Despite the fact that the be-103 received type certificates according to Russian and American standards of airworthiness, the work on further improvement continues. From December 2002 to November 2004 was conducted the tests, and aviaregistr MAC gave tend Supplement to the certificate type that extends the acceptable operating conditions of amphibians. Abroad another point of focus was Latin America, more precisely Brazil. August 3, 2005, the Brazilian aviation authority (CTA) issued the type certificate for light multipurpose amphibious aircraft be-103, which opened him the way to the market, this Latin American country.


Usually the be-103 was built in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, fell in the European part of Russia aboard the Il-76. However, in June 2005, this procedure was not followed. 6 June, three amphibians took to the air from the factory airfield KnAAPO “JEM-GI”. The leading be-103 No. 3203 raised in the air, senior test pilot KnAAPO A. Pulenko, the other two (No. 3204 and No. 3205) controlled test pilot KnAAPO V. Huber and test pilot tand V. Fortushnov.

The Taganrog amphibians overcame in total 8536 km, which lasted about 53 hours of flying time. Flight took place at a cruising speed of 200 km/h at altitudes up to 1000 metres and was carried out under visual flight rules. For intermediate landings used land airfields, including unpaved runway. All of the be-103 withstood this difficult trial and clearly proved their high reliability and versatility.


Two series of amphibians (No. 3204 and No. 3205) with registration number RA-01854 and RA-01855 were transferred organized in the framework of TANTK named after G. M. Beriev airline operating seaplanes in civil aviation. In the summer of 2006 the be-103 has started sightseeing flights in Gelendzhik. While the be-103 RA-01855 even managed to play a role in the domestic Thriller “D-Day”.

Aircraft-amphibian be-103



The amphibian be-103

The future plans of the airline include air transportation of passengers, sightseeing flights, aerial work aerobically aquatic areas of the southern Federal district, as well as the practical development of aircraft-amphibian be-103 in other regions of Russia. Another car (No. 3203) was leased to the Aero club in Moscow Kubinka.


Continued the certification process of the be-103 for foreign airworthiness. In December 2005, the aircraft received the type certificate by the civil aviation authority of China (SAAS).


23 Dec 2008 TANTK named after G. M. Beriev has received the Certificate of type on amphibian be-103, issued by the European aviation safety Agency (EEA). For the first time in the history of the domestic aircraft industry was obtained a European certificate in the classes of passenger aircraft, amphibians, and light aviation.


By the beginning of 2010 in Komsomolsk-on-Amur built 26 be-103 of them is at the factory in readiness for sale to the customer.


In addition to the basic passenger version, to date, developed a number of new modifications of the amphibians. So, the be-103 can be used in the following versions: transport, administrative, sanitary (one sick, one or two sessile, one paramedic), the patrol (crew of two), environmental. Conversion of the aircraft from the passenger variant in the transport and health may be conducted by the operating organization, in other options in the factory.



Performance characteristics:

Powerplant — 2хПД, TCM IO-36QES4

Power, HP — 2×210

Length, m — 10,65

Height, m — 3,752

Wing span, m — 12,72

Wing area, m2 25,1

Maximum take-off weight, kg — 2270

Empty weight, kg — 1824

The maximum amount of fuel, kg — 245

Maximum payload, kg — 368

Cruising speed, km/h — 190 — 240

Practical ceiling, m — 5020

Takeoff run (land/water), m — 350/560

Mileage (earth/water), m — 400/360

Range max, km — 1070

Seakeeping, wave height, m — 0,5

The duration of the flight, h — 5,5

Crew/passengers, people — 1/5.

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