|Production powerplant (2)|
|Type||"Teledyne Continental" TCM IO-360ES4|
|Production powerplant (2)|
|Prototype powerplant (2)|
|Weights (kg) and loads|
|Wing Load (kg/m2)||81.7|
|Power load (kg/hp)||4.88|
|Takeoff (m) H=0, MCA|
|Landing (m) H=0, MCA|
|With 5 passengers||590km|
|Operational||500 to 3000|
|at 0m, 2 engines||5.2m/sec|
|at 0m, 1 engine||1.09m/sec|
|Fuel + Load||510kg|
|Cabin size LxWxH||3.65x1.25x1.23 m3|
|Seats and Load|
|5 passengers (no cargo)
400kg in cabin + 2 passengers
1 stretcher, 2 seated and 1 med. personnel
patrol group of 3
|Price||600,000 to 700,000 USD|
The amphibious Be-103 is intended for autonomous operation in the unmarked areas of Russia's Far North or Siberia, where it may be most useful. Be-103 was designed in conformity with AP-23 and FAR-23 standards for short-haul routes in regions that have rivers, lakes, streams and are otherwise unaccessible.
Possible tasks for the aircraft:
The Be-103 is a low-wing monoplane, with water-displacing wings fitted with wing extensions. It features an all-moving slab tail and tricycle landing gear with nose undercarriage unit. Its hallmarks are the water-displacing wing with three aquaplaning implements (planing step, starboard and port wing trailing edges) which substantially enhance the aircraft on-the-water stability and seaworthiness. Takeoff and landing may be performed on lower speed due to wing-in-ground effect of the low wing.
Engines are well protected from water during taxi by the wing. Engine start may be performed from the on-board accumulators (3 attempts) or from the ground service outlet.
Intended for daytime operation, Be-103 has provision of blind flight equipment and night operations. De-icing equipment is optional. Cabin interior may be easily reconfigured from comfortable passenger compartment to 2x0.7m2 cargo bay. Navigation and flight control system may be ether Russia-made or imported or mixed, following customer's demand. Large doors provide easy access for crew and passengers. Safety features - life jackets with appropriate light, smoke and sound devices.
First 20min flight was performed on July 15, 1997 with Vladimir Uliyanov on controls. Total flight time accumulated by the first Be-103 was over 14 hours.
First public appearance was planned for MAKS-97 airshow. Just before the show (August 18) it was crashed on the Zhukovsky airfield during familiarization flights. 35 years old Vladimir Uliyanov was killed in the accident.
The second Be-103 was flown on September 24, 1998 at Taganrog Bay, the G.M.Beriev Taganrog Aviation Scientific Engineering Complex test grounds (or test waters?). First water-water flight (pilot V.P.Doubenskij) lasted 12min, no abnormalities revealed. Third Be-103 was at the time under construction at Komsomolsk-Na-Amure. During trials, nose section was redesigned and the central wing section was equipped with fixed slats.
Cheaper single-engined passenger variant with Voronezh OKBM built 360hp M-14 engine on the vertical pylon is considered. Development of this aircraft (SA-20P) was launched in the started in 2001 at KnAAPO.
Estimations for domestic and international market demands (until 2015) are estimated as 520 and 250-330 units, respectively. Originally powered with domestic M-17 engines. But at the bottom of the Russian economic crisis was re-engined with "Teledyne Continental" TCM IO-360ES4. Growing interest to the aircraft on the domestic market and appearance of acceptable domestic light engines (VAZ-Lada) may inspire designers to build a cheaper version with Russian engines.
Certification program (near 300 flights) was fulfilled in January 2002. According to Izvestia (via Avias.ru), intentions to buy Be-103 were expressed by few American, French, Greek and Israeli carriers. Aircraft will be manufactured in Russia (KnAAPO), but in case of large demand production may be organised abroad as well. One of the obstacles at Russian market - luck of legal regulations for private aircraft in Be-103 class.
At the MAKS-2001 airshow Be-103 was presented with weather radar in the nose radome.
Some sources openly criticize Be-103 as a "not entirely successful". All problems of the project are blamed on the wrong purpose: keeping designers and manufacturers busy instead of creating effective, reliable and affordable aircraft. Well, well... time will show. So far, such a criticism (both founded and unfounded) is not new in the high-tech world. Not only in aviation, not only in Russia.
More practical criticism of the design:
|Picture used for the background|