PBS has been Supplying Auxiliary Power Units for Mil Helicopters for more than 20 years
PBS has been developing and supplying small turbine drive units for the aerospace industry for half a century. The company celebrated the 20th anniversary of cooperation with the manufacturers of Mil helicopters in 2019. PBS mainly supplies the Safir 5K/G MI auxiliary power unit (APU), which triggers the main engines of approximately 150 Russian Mi-17 helicopters. PBS continually works on modifications of existing products, but the company also develops other devices for new types of helicopters as well as jet aircraft.
PBS has been developing and producing aircraft devices since the end of the 1960s. Its products include auxiliary power units (APUs) and environmental control systems (ECS) for various types of aircraft and helicopters. In the new millennium, the company also expanded the portfolio of its products to jet engines, which it develops primarily for unmanned aerial vehicles.
20 years of cooperation with Mil
PBS has implemented almost 6,000 APUs in total. Last year, the company celebrated the 20th anniversary of cooperation with the manufacturers of Mil helicopters for which it developed the Safir 5K/G MI APU. This APU has been designed for Russian Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-171 helicopters, which are among the most successful helicopters in the world in terms of both the number of units sold and the number of countries in which they fly. You can find the Mi-17 in more than 60 countries, including India. About 150 Mi-17 helicopters with Safir 5K/G MI APUs fly there at present.
The beginning of the development of the Safir 5K/G MI dates back to 1969, when PBS took over the development of the air generator for the L-39 Albatros aircraft. An APU with the designation Safir 5M resulted from the reconstruction of this generator. The Safir 5K unit for the newly designed L 610 aircraft and the Safir 5K/G for the L 610G aircraft were based on this APU.
An APU with very good parameters was created in this way. Representatives from the Mil design office and helicopter production plant from Kazan demonstrated their interest in this APU at the MAKS 1999 Aerospace Salon. They were looking for a substitution for the original APU in order to ensure a take-off ability in Mi-17 helicopters up to a height of 6,000 m. An APU with the new designation Safir 5K/G MI was tested successfully in the alpine environment of Tibet at an altitude of 6,300 m above sea level. The first supply of serial Safir 5K/G MI APUs took place in 2001.
Devices for Helicopters and Jet Aircraft
PBS APUs are especially suitable for civil and military helicopters, training and light combat planes, and business jet planes. Applications in ground military forces or marine applications are also feasible. They are incorporated into various configurations not only in several types of helicopters, but also in training and light combat planes.
For example, the Czech L-159 ALCA plane is used, among others, by Draken International for training American pilots. They were also found useful for another Czech plane, the L-39 Albatros, which is one of the most widespread training planes in the world. Currently, PBS is following up previous cooperation with the development and supply of several systems for the new generation of this aircraft, designated L-39NG. This includes, the environmental control system, some fuel system instruments, the EMG-200 starter generator, and other devices.
The existing APU configurations from PBS production guarantee the possibility of continuous operation for up to 6 hours, and in the power category of up to 100 kW it is a world leader. This is documented by obtained and repeatedly defended DOA, POA and MOA certificates from the EASA. PBS is one of 4 companies worldwide in the APU segment which have obtained the aforementioned certificates.
Development and Innovations
PBS continuously invests in development and has high-quality technological support and development and testing capacities available. The company continually extends the time limits of overhauls for the Safir 5K/G MI, thus increasing its competitiveness. The company developed the relatively new EMG-200 starter generator for the Ansat helicopter, and sells several dozen units a year at present.
The CS-M1V environmental control system for the new type of Mi-171A2 helicopter is another example of successful development. This system is able to heat and cool simultaneously, not only in the cockpit, but also in the cargo space of the helicopter. Modifications of this unit for other types of helicopter are planned in the future.