The safety of «Ivolga» WIGs operation

Safety of «Ivolga» WIGs operation is provided by a complex of scientific design, instrumental and organizational measures, the main ones among which are:

1. Ensuring acceptable aero-hydrodynamic parameters of an airplane.

When designing «Ivolga» type WIGs, scientific and technical achievements were used and developed, and materials from flight and experimental studies in the field of EK was used. As a result, a basic serial EK-12 «Ivolga» WIG was created with high traffic safety data.

Catamaran scheme, hydrodynamic contours of floats with redans and the use of «blowing» from propellers under the hull ensured seaworthiness and stability on taxiing, start at run and run on landing at a speed of 110 km / h, rough seas 1.25–1.5 meters (3 points) and crosswind up to 12 m / s.

A high reserve of buoyancy K. = 4.13 and a breakdown of the hull into watertight compartments, and floats into hermetic compartments with water pumping allow you to continue moving when two compartments fail.

Without the use of automation, only through aero-hydrodynamic layout, on-screen motion modes (up to a height of 4 meters, speeds of 110–240 km / h, visibility up to 2 km and) sufficiently high characteristics of stability, controllability and maneuverability (with turning radii 200–800 meters and rolls up to 30 degrees) are available to pilot.

Aero-hydrodynamic layout and geometric contours of the floats make it safe to safely touch the wave and unstressed away from it. In case of a sudden appearance of a higher wave on the route, it is possible to safely raise the height of movement above the waves and briefly to 150 meters to avoid obstacles.

With the appearance of fog or visibility less than 2 km, the ground effect vehicle can continue to move along the radar in swimming and gliding mode at a speed of 10 to 110 km / h and, having passed this section, again go into screen mode of movement at a speed of 110 — 240 km / h.

The EK-12 ekranoplan ship is a prototype and with increasing dimensions, like EK-17, EK-30, and other ekranoplanes, the aero-hydrodynamic parameters and seaworthiness are significantly improved.

2. Providing redundancy of the power plant and main systems.

Two identical engines with their systems and fuel supply are independently installed on the «Ivolga» ekranoplanes on both sides, allowing them to continue driving on one of them. Also mounted is a duplicated power supply system with additional redundancy of two batteries.

The navigation system is built on the GPS-GLONASS satellite navigator and is backed up by the air-inertial radar track system. The radar is located on the radar GARMIN, through which you can monitor navigation and detect small objects on the water with a distance of at least 10 km and safely bypass them.

The VHF radio station and satellite communications equipment are used as communication with the coast and ships. There is also a radio station in rescue equipment.

On the dashboard, two large electronic monitors of motion, powerplant, systems, and navigation parameters are duplicated by independent small-sized instruments.

3. Installation of on-board fire extinguishing equipment.

In each engine compartment there are 3 fire-fighting aerosol generators firing the mixture in the most fire-hazardous directions when a flame appears automatically or manually from a button on the crew dashboard. Manual fire extinguishers are located in prominent and convenient places in the cockpit and passenger compartments. Also in the composition of the rescue means of a ground-effect vehicle there is a small-sized pump with a gasoline engine.

4. Accommodation on board of rescue and marine equipment.

In easily accessible places of the wig’s cabin, there are emergency rescue equipment available: life jackets, rafts, first-aid kit, emergency ax, pump for pumping out and supplying water, a bucket, emergency radio station, a standard set of light-color-signaling distress means, a SARSAT-COSPAS radio beacon, and also on-board tool and a set of spare parts for emergency repair of an ekranoplan.

In the luggage compartment on board is a set of marine equipment containing: anchor, towing and throwing cable, hook, folding oars. On the sides of the wig mounted mooring devices of the type of cutter bollards, towing eyelets (eye and hooks) are fixed at the bottom of the nose and tail.

5. Providing the crew with information on meteorological conditions.

Providing information on meteorological conditions at the start and route is based on the reliability of the data of the port meteorological services and the international electronic weather data system. The crew’s knowledge of wind direction and speed, visibility and wave height is essential for safe landing.

6. Providing training and crew monitoring.

The degree of readiness and the state of the crew underlies the security. Ekvoplana «Ivolga» is stable in movement, easy to manage and have affordable for the mass consumer requirements for the crew, similar to the navigators of high-speed boats and yachts. Currently, the preparation of the crew of the buyer (pilot-pilot and flight engineer-sailor) is carried out on the basis of the manufacturer of the WIG.

Further, the system of control, maintenance and improvement of crew skills works in operation. It is based on: periodic monitoring by an instructor-inspector, testing and restoring skills after a long break, encouraging trouble-free operation and disciplinary actions against violators of operational requirements.

On the ekranoplan the equipment is installed to monitor and record the motion parameters, the systems and the position of the governing bodies, according to the testimony of which the head can decide in a timely manner about the measures to be applied to the crew that violated the traffic regime. The inability to hide violations increases operational safety.

7. Providing maintenance.

High-quality technical maintenance and service components of safe operation. To this end, the manufacturer’s enterprise provides training for ground personnel and technical workers.

Maintenance of the trouble-free state of the power plant, all systems, units and components of the ground-winged vehicle during operation is carried out by conducting: prelaunch preparation and post-trip inspection, routine maintenance after 200 running hours and in-depth routine maintenance after 1000 running hours.

To improve the quality of these works, ground-based equipment for monitoring the state of an airplane has been developed and is being used.

In ensuring safety, it is important to provide timely assistance to an emergency ekranoplan on the route or to evacuate people from it. To do this, it is advisable to operate at least 3 WIGs on the route, as in an emergency situation on the route one of them, having a high speed, can arrive to the accident site several times faster than other watercrafts. With group operation of at least 10 ekranoplans, it is recommended that there is one person on duty ekranoplan.

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