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Samara Design Bureau – branch of Tupolev PJSC

Samara Design Bureau – branch of Tupolev JSC

Samara branch of Tupolev JSC takes it origin from Kuibyshev branch of the plant № 156 – OKB-156 (Experimental Design Bureau - EDB), which was created on initiative of Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev, by order of the Ministry of Aircraft Production from January 27, 1956 to provide engineering support of serial production at the plant № 18 (Kuibyshev aviation factory) and operation of the Tu-95 strategic bomber. A.I. Putilov was assigned the head of the branch in February, 1956. The first design teams were formed in July, 1956. Then, engineers of the branch were engaged in development of design documentation for a variety of Tu-95 military versions, as well as for its passenger variant Tu-116 designed to transport top officials of the State, that was being urgently developed at that time. Work on Tu-116 began in 1956, and in the spring of 1958 the first aircraft got off the ground. Simultaneously, branch employees were involved in creation of Tu-114 airplane (they had developed fuselage tail section) and L-106 flying laboratory, based on Tu-95 that was intended for testing NK-6 and other powerful turbojets of that period. Until the mid-1960s the team of the branch took an active part in the developing and putting into production such modifications of Tu-95 as Tu-95M and Tu-95MR, Tu-95RTs, Tu-95K and Tu-95KM.

Since 1959 the team was charged with creation of Tu-126 AWACS airplane, specifically, it was to develop radar’s mounting pylon and radome, several fuselage sections, installation of AWACS equipment and systems. Work on the aircraft had shown the maturity of the team and its readiness to perform by itself large and complex tasks of the General designer. During the work on Tu-126, the branch developed "Konus" air refuelling system, which was successful and in the future it was installed on Tu-95KM, Tu-142 and Tu-95MS. At the same time, the designers were engaged in releasing documentation on Tu-134 passenger aircraft.

During creation of Tu-142, the following documentation for the aircraft was released: on the wing, on redesign related to defensive weapons, on installation of electronic equipment for performing new tasks and on the necessary changes of the airframe design due to its installation. In the following years the branch was busy upgrading the aircraft and releasing documentation on its modifications - Tu-142M, Tu-142MZ, Tu-142ME. It is known, that Tu-142 was first produced in Kuibyshev, and later - at an aircraft factory in Taganrog. All this time the branch has been involved in the design maintenance of its production and operation. Tu-142, along with Tu-95, has become one of the main themes in the work of the branch from 1956 until the end of the 1980s.

In the 1960s along with work on military orders the branch specialists were being more and more involved in development of a new generation passenger airplanes. Besides the already mentioned works on development of Tu-114 and Tu-134, the branch took part in developing Tu-144 and Tu-154. In case of Tu-144 it was a relatively small amount of work, but Tu-154 had become a major focus for the branch for many years.

Tu-154 prototype performed its first flight in October 1968. By that time, release of working drawings and their transfer to the serial plant № 18 in Kuibyshev were coming to the end, and the plant was just completing production of the last Tu-114.

Since 1959 till 1960 G.I. Bertosh was the head of the branch, and since 1960 – M.D. Hasanov. In 1971, the team moved to a new building with prototype production section, laboratory equipment and rooms designed to perform design works. Start-up of Tu-154 production required from the branch a lot of work on this aircraft and its variants: Tu-154TS medical evacuation aircraft and Tu-154C cargo aircraft. In the 1970s, team of the branch performed a large amount of work for the conversion of a number of Tu-95K into Tu-95K22 ("KAMA" theme) with the new missile weapons and equipment. The branch provided realization of the bulletin for reequipping at the repair plant of the Air Forces and design monitoring of the work. Also, one Tu-95M was reequipped for testing Tu-95K-26 prototype complex with KSR-5 missiles in the framework of "Volga" theme. At the same time the branch carried out a large amount of work on the modernization of Tu-142: documentation on Tu-142MK (Tu-142M) with "Korshun" UAV, and then on Tu-142MZ was developed. At the end of the 1970s, a set of documentation for Tu-95MS production was transferred to the aircraft plants in Taganrog and Samara. In 1980 and in the following years, at the start and in the process of production, the works on improving this documentation and on design monitoring of production and operation of this strategic rocket carrier were performed. In the late 1970s until the early 1980s, Tu-154M was developed by the branch team (for the most part), and several Tu-154M-based flying laboratories, including one intended for adjustment of "Buran" space shuttle control systems and Tu-154MLK flying laboratory for cosmonauts training, that is currently in use. Tu-155 experimental aircraft was developed on the base of Tu-154, having NK-88 engine that ran on hydrogen, and later, on liquefied natural gas.

In 1983, V.V. Iljin was assigned the head of the branch. In the 1980s, the branch was charged with development of design documentation on high-lift devices of the wing leading edge for Tu-204 (slats and their control system) and wing leading-edge subassemblies. The latter were made in two variants: traditional metal and a composite one (fiberglass and SVM fabric - СВМ). Moreover, a set of documentation on wing leading-edge subassemblies and slats for           Tu-204-120 was also released. A bit later, the branch developed documentation for the baggage compartment doors for Tu-204-200 (former designation of Tu-214).

Final assembly of the wings of Tu-204 was performed in Ulyanovsk, but manufacture of their first sets was performed at Samara aviation plant, and that’s why the branch took part in putting them into production and adjustment of their design.

At the beginning of the 1990s, team of the branch together with the Moscow head design bureau released and transferred to serial plant a set of documentation on Tu-156, capable of running on liquefied natural gas and kerosene. At about the same time, the branch was developing documentation for the aircraft under the name of Tu-154M2 with two PS-90 engines. Its documentation to a high degree of readiness was transferred to serial factory. Also, at that time Tu-204C cargo variant was developed on the base of requirements specification of the first     Tu-204 operators. Design documentation for the cargo door and its control system was developed by the branch.

In 2006-2007 the branch again returned to this subject due to the development of Tu-214F cargo aircraft, according to new requirements specifications. Given the experience of operation of Tu-154C and Tu-204C airplanes, the branch released design documentation for the cargo door and its control system.

At the end of the 1980s, branch team started to develop documentation on wing leading edges assemblies, slats and their control system for Tu-334 aircraft that was being developed in Moscow Central Design Bureau at that time. It should be emphasized that initially, leading-edges subassemblies and the tail part of the slats were made of composite materials in the form of sandwich panels. By 1993 work was completed and the documentation was transferred to the production plant in Kiev. After that the branch developed documentation for baggage compartment doors, cargo door and the barrier wall for Tu-334 cargo variant.

In 1995 due to development of Tu-334 family airplanes of various range and passenger capacity, the branch developed a wing of large area with elements of the fuel system for Tu-334-100D variant. Production of the aircraft was planned to be performed in Samara at Aviacor plant. In addition, at the end of the 1990s, the branch was engaged in work on Tu-330 and Tu-136.

In March 1998, when a branch head - deputy chief designer V.V. Iljin had gone into the retirement of well-deserved rest, V.N. Klimov was assigned the head of the branch.

In 2001, Samara branch of ANTK n.a. Tupolev (Aviation Scientific-Technical Complex) was reorganized in Samara Design Bureau – branch of Tupolev JSC.

Nowadays, the branch continues working on Tu-154. It releases documentation for the airplanes that are finished by the plant according to individual requirements specifications, and for modernization of systems (specifically, navigation) and equipment. It also resolves technical issues on the aircraft, that are repaired in Samara and at two repair plants as well as it provides engineering support for the airplanes that are being finished by the plant.

The branch also releases documentation for various versions of Tu-204 for the complex in Ulyanovsk.

In recent years, an opportunity for reduction of the team age has appeared. In 2008-2009, young specialists - graduates from Samara State Aerospace University joined the enterprise. They immediately became actively involved in working and social life and revived Council of Young Professionals. A gradual equipping of the workplaces with computers, having modern hard- and software, is currently in progress.

In an effort to keep up with technical advance, the branch team is actively developing and implementing the latest information technology, organizing and supporting the process of electronic development and design of aircraft units and assemblies.

Samara branch as a part of Tupolev JSC together with other branches is ready to participate in future projects to further develop Tupolev airplanes of various purposes.