První brněnská strojírna (PBS), manufactured its 1000th auxiliary power unit (APU) Safir 5K/G MI this October. The unit is to be used in the Russian helicopters Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-171 which are the most successful helicopters worldwide in their category. PBS held a meeting with its key partners to celebrate such significant milestone in their production. Its key suppliers Thales, MESIT asd and Jihostroj including the Russian helicopter manufacturers from a plant in Moscow, Kazan and Ulan-Ude paid a visit to the plant in Velká Bíteš.
The Safir auxiliary power units from PBS are incorporated with various configurations in several types of civil and military helicopters. Safir 5K/G M in particular works in the Russian helicopters Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-171 which belong amongst the most successful helicopters in regard to the amount of pieces sold and to the number of the countries in which they fly (more than 60 countries). The Safir APU is suitable for several training light jet planes such as L-159 ALCA or L-39 Albatros, the latter being one of the most widespread training jet planes in the world. Currently, PBS is involved in the development of several systems for the new generation of a jet plane L-39NG.
The 1000th Safir 5K/G MI and 20 years of cooperation with the Russian helicopter manufacturers
Safir 5K/G MI was developed for the helicopters Mi-17 from the previous version first designated for a Czech aircraft L-610. Since L-610 had failed to be realized, there was an APU with very good parameters, even certified in 1999, without a project to be used in. Its chance came that same year during the exhibition called MAKS in Moscow where the PBS representatives met the representatives of the Russian helicopter manufacturers MIL Moscow and the representatives of a helicopter plant in Kazan. The Russian party was then looking for a replacement of the APU of the existing helicopter Mi-17. They needed to ensure the startability in the height up to 6,000m requested by their Chinese customer. The year after, PBS signed a contract with the Russian party to deliver their first supply of the APU to be certified. The APU was delivered to Russia in 2001.
PBS reached a significant milestone this October as it manufactured Safir 5K/G MI with a serial number ‘1000’ twenty years after the first meeting with the Russian helicopter manufacturers. On this occasion, it welcomed its most important partners in the sector in its plant, presenting its development and production in practice. There were PBS’s suppliers among other guests, in particular the representatives of a French company Thales which supplies generators for auxiliary power units to PBS, then the representatives of Czech companies such as MESIT asd and Jihostroj. There were the Russian helicopter manufacturer representatives from Moscow, in particular from a helicopter plant M. L. Mila, from Kazan, Ulan-Ude, Tulpar Aero Group and AirTaxi-Service.
APU development opportunities for their new application
PBS has technological background, development and testing capacities and is open to the opportunities to modify its APUs for new applications and installations. PBS‘s APUs are especially suitable for civil and military helicopters, training light jets or business jets. The applications in ground military technology or marine applications are feasible as well.
During the aerospace salon MAKS 2019, the company Aircraft Industries presented the intention to start the development of a new forty-seater aircraft which will be based on the initially Czechoslovak project L-610 from LET Kunovice. The present representatives of the Ministries of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and the Russian Federation declared their readiness to co-finance the development project. PBS is ready to cooperate on the L-610 project by delivering APU and air-conditioning systems. After all, PBS already developed Safir 5K/G for L-610 in 1990s from which Safir 5K/G MI arouse.