Recently, Viktor Abeliants, author and manager of a large-scale project, has applied to the Kiev Polytechnic Institute (KPI), which cooperates with many educational and commercial institutions, for assistance in promotion of his engineering development.
It must be noted that the KPI participated in the project as well. Unfortunately, Ukraine is not ready to complete the project for reasons beyond control.
The project was carried out by Russian and Ukrainian leading aerospace research institutes and organizations. The technical proposal and sketch design of a disk-shaped aerostatic lift-and-carry machine with a hoisting capacity of 250-400 tons (APTS) were made on the basis of the results of research. This work was done to order of the Korolev research and production association Energia while the Ministry of Defense of the U.S.S.R. financed the project. The APTS was included in the State Plan of the Ministry of the Aircraft Industry of the U.S.S.R., and to date it has been seen as the highly efficient and topical project that is unique in world practice. After Ukraine achieved self-determination in 1991, the customer cut off funding and the work within the framework of the project was suspended.
The project is built on the mass-produced, well-mastered Antonov An-12 military transport airplane (NATO codename “Cub”). APTS is distinguished by high performance and a low production cost owing to a small amount of preliminary studies, use of mass-produced devices, equipment, units, materials whose unification accounted for 80%, few skilled personnel that was smaller in number than the group of specialists required to develop and manufacture a dirigible or aircraft with a similar hoisting capacity.
The work, which has been done already, enables any modern aircraft construction company specializing in the design and manufacture of medium and long-range aircraft to complete the project for a short period and at low costs provided the companies have cutting-edge technologies, production capacities, materials, scientific and technical personnel. Reportedly, U.S. and European aircraft construction companies have been taking an active part in the projects of building large cargo aircraft in various countries for many years.
The problem is that such a large-scale project can be implemented by the well-organized, consolidated institution, which incorporates not only investors and consumers but also general makers, suppliers of component parts, financiers, stakeholders and even natural persons. Undoubtedly, it is necessary to start seeking investors and basic manufacturers. This task requires a high professional level, the wide experience of organizational work and management expertise. Work done by the experts who have the above skills is considered as a determining factor at the present stage.
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