A. Kharuk, I. Soliar Learning from Foreign Experience as a Factor in the Development of Ukraine’s Aviation Engine Industry in the 1910’s — 1930’s

Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Army Academy

Ivan Krypiakevych Institute of Ukrainian Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

During the First World War, two enterprises made attempts to organize a fullscale
production of aviation motors on the territory of Ukraine. They took different
approaches: the Deca plant in Oleksandrivsk (now Zaporizhzhia) copied
trophy German motors, and the Anatra company planned to produce engines under
a French license on its enterprise in Simferopol. Both of these projects failed.
In the first case, difficulties were encountered in reproducing engine production
technology without the availability of appropriate technical documentation. In the second case, it was not possible to deliver the necessary equipment from France
due to the military and political situation.
In Soviet times, aircraft production in Ukraine was based on the same two
approaches: unlicensed copying and licensed production. The first approach
seemed more attractive from a financial point of view. However, the practical
results turned out to be far from expected as the Zaporizhzhia Aviation Motor
Plant coped with the implementation of the M-6, a copy of the French engine
Hispano-Suiza, with great difficulty. Reproducing technology without the proper
documentation required a great deal of time and resources.
Following the failure of the M-6 case, the Zaporizhzhia enterprise has established
cooperation with the Gnome-Rhone firm on a legal basis with the purchase
of a license. Due to this, in the 1930’s, the M-22 (Jupiter) and M-85 (K-14) motors
were mass-produced. However, each time an enterprise had to spend time
and effort to adapt the French designs to the production in the USSR, and every
time it had problems with ensuring the proper quality of products. Unsuccessful
at first, it made attempts to create advanced variants of licenses. Projects based
on the M-6 remained on paper, while the modernized version of the M-22, although
manufactured, actually proved to be inoperable. Only on the M-85 basis
with considerable difficulties, it created several more powerful variants.

Keywords: aviation engine, aviation engine industry, plant № 29, Zaporizhzhia,
military-industrial complex.


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