Be-200 by Beriev Aircraft Company

Photo of the Be-200

Courtesy of Andrew I. Salnikov.

Be-200 is the first and the only large airplane whose basic version development was started in the post-perestroika years.
Development of the Be-200 was stimulated by increasing freight air traffic in all world regions, including Russia's vast territory and Asia-Pacific countries with their numerous islands. Building of large airports for land-based aircraft (and reconstruction of the existing ones) demands large capital investment. Some states even have too little land suitable for large airfiled but have long sea borders.
In this situation modern high performance amphibian may became a strong competitor to land-based planes.
Be-200 was developed from the A-40/Be-42 'Mermaid'. It has a high-mounted swept wing with engines mounted above the center wing section. T-tail and pressurized 2-step boat hull with conventional airliner-style pilot cabin conclude aircraft appearance. Hull is divided into separate watertight compartments, keeping it afloat even if any two adjacent copartments are flooded. Unlike existing competitors, Be-200 fuselage is fully watertight.
Retractable tricycle landing gear allows Be-200 to operate from class B airfields. Amphibian can operate from water surface deeper than 2m and wave height 1.2m (sea state 3). Water taxi speed is up to 50km/h, controlled by the stern water rudder and/or engines trust variation.
Be-200 uses reliable and economical Ukranian built engines. Location of engines and mounts design allows to accomodate amost any turbojet (or turboprop) powerplant of sufficient power. BMW-Rolls-Royce BR-715-53 turbofan or Allison GMA-2100 turbofans are also considered as a custom option for production aircraft. This is good news for countries with exisitng service infrastructure for Allison or BMW-RR engines.
The aircraft has been designed and will be tested in conformity with FAR-25 airworthiness standards which will ease its certification under the U.S. Federal Air Register and European Air Register.
Aircraft is equipped by all-weather navigation system developed specifically for this airplane by the American firm Allied Signal and the Russian Institute of Navigation Equipment. In addition to standard features available on any modern passenger or cargo aircraft, this system provides information about relative position in a group as well as athomatic lead-out to the point of waterdrop for second run.
Be-200 is built at IAPO at Irkutsk. This production complex built aircraft from almost every design bureau (mostly military). Be-200 is a practical step towards practical conversion of the plant. The first static specimen was delivered in March 1995 and transferred to TANTK to undergo strenght tests. The second Be-200 for flight tests in Taganrog passed live tests of its electrical equipment and hydraulic and control systems.
Be-200 differs from other amphibian aircraft by it unbeatable multi-functionality (without negative impact on performance in any role). Following roles may be performed:
  • Firefighting
  • Patrool Be-200P
  • Cargo-Passenger
  • Transport
  • Passenger
  • S.A.R.
  • Ambulance
  • Ecology control
  • Executive transport
  • Be-200ChS for Emergency Situations Ministry
  • Technical data
    Type Be-200
    Function Multi-role amphibian
    Year 1998
    Crew 2
    Engines 2*7500kg Progress D-436TP
    Options available (see text)
    Length 32,05m
    Wingspan 32,78m
    Wing area 117,44m2
    Empty weight ?kg
    Loaded weight (firefighter) 43000kg
    Loaded weight (other) 37200kg
    Wing load ?kg/m2
    Trust-to-Weight 0.40/0.35
    Maximum Speed 710km/h
    Cruising Speed 600km/h
    Economy Speed 550km/h
    Landing Speed 200km/h
    Takeoff Speed 220km/h
    Landing Run ?m ?sec
    Takeoff Run ?m ?sec
    Runway demand class B, 1800m
    Operational Range 2100km
    Dry tank Range 3850km
    Flight Endurance ?h
    Preferred operational altitude 8000m
    Ceiling ?m
    1000m ?min
    Fuel ?kg
    Seats Economy 64
    Seats Business 32
    Seats Executive 18
    Seats Cargo/Transport 19
    Cargo as Cargo/Passenger 3000kg
    Cargo as Transport 6000kg

    Firefighting version

    Wast majority of firefighting aitcraft in service are plaqued by tight link to airfields. As a result, firefighters often have to operate at limit of aircraft range or with partially empty water tanks. Certain areas of the world are completely out of range for ground based firefighters.
    Introduction of the Be-200 solves this problem. Amphibian aircraft carries 12tons of water in 8 tank compartments under the cabin floor. In aquaplaning mode all this water may be scooped in 12. Required distance (ISA standard, 10.7m obstacle, takeoff weight 43000kg) is 1330m. Firefighting version carries also 1.2m3 of chemical agent in special tanks.
    Fully fueled, Be-200 can perform up to 25 firefighting sorties (10km water carry, 200kmfrom the refueling spot), delivering 300tons of water to fire area. Firefighting crews with necessary equipment may be delivered to the blaze during same missions, because wated tanks do not occupy room in the cargo/passenger cabin.
    Water tanks have individually operated doors, allowing water drop in a single salvo or in series of successive passes. Be-200 navigation system may authomaticaly bring aircraft back to the spot of the previous waterdrop, securing safe in-group operation.

    Patrol version

    Be-200 in patrool configuration may help borderguards. Since it may be refueled on water from the supply ship or basic refueling utilities, its range is not restricted by 'dry' airfield location. Here are (some of) possible missions:
  • Patrooling the 200-mile sea economic zone and islands
  • Location and classification of suspicious ships in assigned area
  • Determination of their coordinates and identity
  • Detention of suspects by firing warning shots
  • Examination of arrested ships after water landing
  • Monitoring of radio-frequency emissions
  • Communication with shore-based observation posts
  • Guidance of border-guard ships
  • Ecology control version

    Ecological duties may include monitoring of the environment and weather. Be-200 amphibian with its significunt payload may be very helpful during oil spill removal. With proper equipment installed it will allow taking samples of water or soil from the reservoirs bottom, as well as air quality control.

    Passenger and executive versions

    The passenger version interior is designed and manufactured by the British company AIM Aviation (LTD). As mentioned above, passenger cabin is pressurised. It may be equipped to carry 64 economy class passengers (75cm) seat spacing, 13+36 seats in business and economy configuration, 8+24 seats for first and business class or 18 seats in executive version. Be-200 is fitted with a toilet room, wardrobe and a gally/pantry. In addition to pilot and co-pilot, two flight attendants are added to a crew to serve the passengers.

    Cargo/Passenger and Transport versions

    Those are described together because Be-200 may be converted from one version to another within an hour by the aircraft crew. Required procedures include installation/removal of seats, transposition of protective partitions etc. Suitable for mail, passengers and cargo as required.
    Specific features are pressurised cargo compartment 18.7mx2.4mx1.8m and cargo hatch door 1.76mx2.05m in the front section of the fuselage. In Transport version it accomodates up to 6000kg of cargo in LD-1, LD-2 and AKS containers. Pallets PA-1.5 and R-8 are also acceptable. Cargo/Passenger variant accepts half of this load, but part of the cargo cabin is separated and equipped with 19 passenger seats.
    Existing floating facilities may be used to carry loading/unloading afloat without major modifications.

    Ambulance version

    Spacious cabin of the Be-200 has room for 30 stretchers, seven seats for medical personell and room for special medical equipment. This configuration may also be used as a mobile hospital for rural areas, inaccessable to land-base fixed-wing aircraft, cars or ships. And of course capacity, speed, comfort and operation cost of the Be-200 make it superiour to ambulance helicopters. Of course sufficient water reservoir is still required...
    According to Airfax Newsletter, in early 1996 Beriev Bureau already had orders for more than 10 machines.
    Russian Ministry of Forestry and Emergency Situations Ministry plan to buy 50 to 60 and 10 to 15 aircraft correspondingly. European aircraft operating companies are likely to order 20 to 25 aircraft in 1999 through 2010.
    In North America strong presence of formidable rival Canadair makes prospects for Be-200 sales uncertain, but involvement of the Be-200 multi-role amphibian
  • Be-200 page by Kenn Heely
  • Be-200 at the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  • Russian aircraft for Japan
  • Beriev Aircraft at WWW.AVIATION.RU
  • This week in Russian Aerospace by Vovick Karnozov
  • Some of Soviet Amphibians by Venik
  • Current Projects
  • Airfax Newsletter, 19 Jan 1996
  • Dual-use technologies in production of Be-200 amphibian and their perspective applications
  • Beriev Be-200
  • MAKS-97 overview
  • Be-200, Beriev
  • Be-200 at the Commercial Aircraft Profiles
  • Ada software for Be-200
  • Airtanker board may have some...
  • Created August 5, 1996
    Modified November 4, 1998
    by Alexandre Savine
    and Andrew I. Salnikov;

    corrected by Sergey V.Andreev february 5 1999