Vladimir Fedorov: "A motoglider is a new space of freedom"
(«AC-4» Ltd.) - the company-developer and the manufacturer of gliders «Russia» which first samples have appeared already more 30 years ago.
Today this leading and practically unique design bureau of sports gliders in our country.
In a basis of designs the components created by means of technology
of matrix formation of various aerostructure elements made with cold-sealing fibreglasses
in a vacuum extraction system to manufacture a modern composite materials.
We are using as well a technology of formation of high-quality products made of plexiglas.
Our production technology gives creation of products with high consumer properties
which are competitive in comparison with the best samples of foreign manufacturers.
The chief designer of the «Aviastroitel» Vladimir Egorovich Fedorov,
1937 of a birth, has been graduated in Moscow Aviation Institute.
He become a glider-pilot in 2-nd Moscow airclub.
Ph.D. of Aerodynamics, the owner of the USSR government award for his active complicity
on making the orbital spacecraft «BURAN».
More than 30 years he had worked in the Soviet Aviation industry.
Since 1970 he was a leader of a public group of creative engineers aimed to
designing and manufacturing of sports gliders.
The creation of gliders of the «AC» are being executed according to
«Unified airworthiness standards for gliders» (JAR-22),
and then was conducted the ground-based and flight tests
on experimental base of a TsAGI name of prof. N.E.Zhukovsky.
Stages of creation of gliders
— Designing of an experimental single-seat powered glider «ISTRA» twin engined,
having wing span of 15 m. The period of flight operation — more than 10 year.
1981-86 — Designing of the experimental two-seater motoglider «BAIKAL»,
wing span of 18 m. The maiden flight took place in 1986.
1988. — Designed and constructed sports experimental one-seater glider «Mechta I»,
wing span of 13,3 m; purpose - for training beginning glider pilots.
1989. — Motoglider «Baikal» and sailplane «Mechta I» have been presented on the 5-th show-competition of amateur flight vehicles
(Air show «RIGA-89», took place in the former USSR).
— The series production of a training single-seat glider «Mechta I» is organized.
The prototype series is made of two copies.
— Russia I & II, 11 meter and 12.6 meter World Class Competitors (FAI).
1992. — these gliders under mottos «Russia -1» and
«Russia -2» are presented on FAI Design Competition, Oerlinghausen, Germany.
1993. — There is begun series production by the Cooperative Society
(«Mechta Sailplanes», LLC) founded in the Moscow region.
The first production model is tested in the USA and has received a high estimation.
1996. — AC-4b model developed with nosewheel.
1997. — Prototype AC-4c with retractable gear.
1998-1999. — Prototype AC-4m debuts at Knoxville in March, Prototype AC-5m begins flight tests in December.
Certificates of the USA and England are received.
2000. — AC-5m begins serial production.
2002-2003. — Experimental airplane AC5MP (modernization of glider AC5M).
2002-2005. — Designing and manufacturing of a pre-production model of two-seater motoglider AC-7M..
— the organization of a serial production of a training two-seat motoglider AC-7M.
The prototype series is made of two copies.
In 2000 the Russian glider pilots have established 4 World Records in a class of ultra-light gliders.
The record flights they has produced on the glider «Russia-1» in a flight area near the city of Yelets,
Lipetsk area, in the European part of Russia.
In 2001 after the All-Russia air show of amateur flying vehicles which was conducted
in a class of the General-purpose aviation, self-launching glider «AC5M» has been awarded
the diploma of 1-st degree, as the best amateur airframe.
In total it is made:
— «AC-4», 60-th gliders;
— «AC-5Ì», 35-th motogliders;
— 8-th Kit’s modifications of a series the «AC».
Most of them have been sold in America, 10-th gliders in England, 2 — in Canada.
On one — in Greece, Holland and New Zealand. Two prototypes: a glider and a motoglider — in Russia.
History of Russia Sailplanes
Group Mechta was the organization that brought the Russia I and II designs
to the World Class competition. They had extensive experience in prototype design and development group,
but were never tooled for volume production; this is one of the reasons the Russia lost at the World Class Design
Competition in Oerlinghausen, Germany, in 1993. Though it came in second to the Polish PW-5, the judges unanimously
considered the Russia to be a well engineered sailplane with remarkable performance for it's size and weight,
and noted several innovative construction ideas that would keep costs low if the ship ever went into production.
Cygnet World Class, Inc. was the entrant from the U.S. at Oerlinghausen
and the Americans were struck by the simplicity and construction quality of the Russian entry.
After meeting with Vladimir Fedorov and observing the flight tests of the Russia prototypes,
they purchased the 12.6 meter prototype and promised to aid Group Mechta in introducing the Russia to the U.S.
soaring community. To this end, they started a new company, Russia 12.6,
and imported another pair of sailplanes while they looked for a suitable dealer to handle marketing.
Mechta Sailplanes, LLC took over distribution in 1994 and began to aggressively market the Russia as a low cost
alternative to the other successful designs stemming from the World Class effort.
They successfully brought in the first 18 Russias and really put the AC-4 on the map as a viable alternative
to the World Class ship. Meanwhile in Moscow, Vladimir Fedorov expanded production with a second set of molds
and a satellite assembly shop in Penza, increasing production capacity to 48 gliders per year.
Russia Sailplanes, Inc. was created in 1997 to take the Russia to the next level in the United States.
When Vladimir Fedorov announced the development of a series of new designs based on the AC-4 including
a retractable model, a motorglider, and a kit version, Mechta Sailplanes began to look for a dealer who
could devote considerably more time to the enterprise than had been previously possible.
Salutary cooperation which has been adjusted between Dr. Vladimir Fedorov
and Mr. William Ard (Russia Sailplanes, Inc),
promoted vigorous sale of gliders of a series «AC» in America during nearby 7 years.
However, in 2002 by Government of the Russian Federation have been put into operation new,
more rigid legislative norms and requirements to the certification and licensing of industrial
production of double purpose, including manufacture of flying vehicles of any type and purpose.
In these new circumstances, possible attempt to execute all the requirements, manufactures of sports
gliders concerning demanded licensing, would make their manufacture absolutely unprofitable.
So, for this reason, since 2003 the cooperation, attained before between Dr. Vladimir Fedorov
and Mr. William Ard, has been stopped and wide sale of gliders Russia in America was interrupted.
Nevertheless, for the past 3 years, after 2003, in the State Russian legislation concerning
licensing there were made favorable changes which allow planning the future business with new hope.
The self launching sailplane «AC5M» is a single-seater one, supplied with a retractable two-stroke,
one piston engine. The AC-5m uses the carburated MZ-35 or the fuel injected MZ-35i. The engine deploys manually for reliability.
Bay doors snap close after deployment for minimum drag, and when stowed the engine sits close to CG.
The design goal of this ship is to provide a self-launching sailplane that is simple and inexpensive.
The 5m employs retractable gear, and is similar in performance to the AC-4c.
All connections hook up automatically. The spars are tapered to fit into corresponding boxes in the fuselage,
and extend through the fuselage and into the root rib of the opposite wing for strength.
The wings are anchored with a single reliable pin using an integral cam which pulls the assembly together.
Assembly is accomplished in 5 minutes and can be rigged by one person with the appropriate equipment.
Strong, simple, easy, low maintenance, and affordable.
AC5MP was designed on the basis of airframe AC-5M. On a fixed pylon four-stroke engine Rotax-912 UL2 by power 80 h.p. is established.
It is a single-seat airplane with the small fuel rate, and it is intended for unmanned flight to produce a middle-altitude mission
(from 400 m up to 8000 m) of round-the-clock patrolling or atmospheric probing.
On the ship was nested the onboard navigating system including a complex of the integrated inertial and satellite navigating system,
the radiocommand channel of flight control, TV system of monitoring, and also the equipment of automatic dependent supervision.
The aerodynamic scheme of the plane allows, if a stop of the engine has occurred,
to switch powered flight to a glide slope regime with rate of sink of 1.5 m/s.
Air brakes provide gaining accuracy of the landing and to make a landing more safe,
and also gives a normal completion of flight in a sudden failure of the engine.
AC-7M - the two-seater motoglider equipped with a retractable power unit,
providing independent takeoff, and if there has no presence of good soaring conditions,
to continuation of flight in a motor mode at absence of ascending lifts.
The motoglider was created as a vehicle for primary education of student pilots,
including mastering of soaring flights.
A tow lock may be installed into tail cone of a fuselage.
That will attach AC-7M new ability: the motoglider will be adequate in using as a tug-plane
for launching some ultra-lite gliders. In a motor mode, the AC-7M gives flight's range,
in a standard complete set, about 1800km with cruiser airspeed speed 180km/h and with fuel rate 9 l/h.
The motoglider easily may be driven up to a transport condition if using four person within 20 minutes.
In the disassembled state it can be towed by the automobile in the special trailer, and the trailer can be used as a hangar for storage.