en

PBS celebrates success! 1000th produced and delivered APU Safir 5K/G MI

První brněnská strojírna Velká Bíteš (PBS) has supplied Safir 5K/G MI auxiliary power units (APU) for Russian Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-171 helicopters for 18 years. However, 20 years have already passed since cooperation began with the Russian helicopter manufacturers, as first contact occurred at the MAKS aerospace show in 1999. In October of this year, the thousandth Safir APU, PBS’s best-selling final product, the beginnings of which go back to 1969, will be produced.
PBS celebrates success! 1000th produced and delivered APU Safir 5K/G MI
PBS has been developing and producing aerospace technology for more than 50 years. These include turbine power units, auxiliary power units (APUs) and environmental control systems (ECS) for various types of aircraft and helicopters. PBS is one of 4 companies in the world which owns a certificate for the development, production, and maintenance of (DOA, POA and MOA) APUs given by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The existing configuration of PBS’s APUs guarantee the possibility of continuous operation for 6 hours, and in the power category of up to 100 kW it is a world leader. On the whole, almost 6,000 auxiliary power unit installations have been implemented in this period of time.

History of Safir

PBS has been developing and producing aerospace technology for more than 50 years. These include turbine power units, auxiliary power units (APUs) and environmental control systems (ECS) for various types of aircraft and helicopters. PBS is one of 4 companies in the world which owns a certificate for the development, production, and maintenance of (DOA, POA and MOA) APUs given by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The existing configuration of PBS’s APUs guarantee the possibility of continuous operation for 6 hours, and in the power category of up to 100 kW it is a world leader. On the whole, almost 6,000 auxiliary power unit installations have been implemented in this period of time.

Auxiliary power unit with excellent parameters

The history of the development of the Safir 5K/G MI date back to 1969, when Aero Vodochody asked PBS to take over the development of the air generator from Microturbo for the L-39 aircraft. At that time, the first Safir, numbered 5, began to be developed. Following the introduction of the series production of L-39 aircrafts, ideas on the possible installation of a more powerful engine and the possibility of reconstruction of the air generator into an auxiliary power unit were considered. This is why the development of an auxiliary power unit, called Safir 5M, was started in 1980. In addition to PBS, several other suppliers (Mesit, VÚES Brno and Jihostroj) were involved in the development.
In 1977, Let Kunovice asked PBS to develop an auxiliary power unit for the projected L 610 aircraft for 40 passengers. Considering the technical requirements, it was necessary to make changes compared to the previous Safir 5M version and therefore work started on the development of the Safir 5K APU. Altogether, 25 units were manufactured including 12 prototypes for certification and flight tests. In June 1994, the Safir 5K obtained consent from the State Aviation Inspection Authority for the use of the product for civil aviation.
However, the development of the L 610 was not completed with certification and unfortunately the aircraft did not make it to series production. The L 610G variant was expected to solve these troubles, for which adjustment of the Safir 5K APU was required.
In 1999, a new variant of the APU, the Safir 5K/G, was designed and certified successfully.

Safir 5K / G MI with serial number 1000

In 1999, after showing an interest in the APU developed by PBS, the first meeting was held at the MAKS exhibition with employees from the design office of Mil and employees from the manufacturing plant in Kazan, Russia. In March 2000, the basic technical requirements were agreed upon in PBS. The unit was named Safir 5K/G MI and supplied for flight tests in Kazan in 2001. Successful corporate and military tests were followed by testing by the final customer in China. Tests were made in the alpine conditions of the mountains of Tibet. The highest airport had an altitude of 6,300 m.

Auxiliary power unit with excellent parameters

PBS has invested long term in the development of product modernisation. Thanks to this, it has, for example, managed to continually increase the time limits of overhauls for the Safir 5K/G MI, thus increasing its competitiveness.  It has invented a completely new starter generator, the EMG-200, for Ansat helicopters, which was also exhibited at MAKS 2019. For the new type of Mi-171A2 PBS helicopter, it has developed the M1V ECS, which is able to cool and heat both the cockpit and the cargo area of the helicopter at the same time.
 
Thanks to the worldwide success of the Russian Mi series helicopters, which have placed first both in terms of numbers sold and countries in which they are used (more than 60 countries), PBS celebrated the important production milestone by organising a splendid celebration for its customers.  The production plant in Velká Bíteš have been visited by important representatives from Russian companies such as those from the MIL helicopter manufacturing plant.