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Lyulka-Saturn

OKB-165
Arkhip Lyulka Construction Bureau 
AO Lyulka-Saturn

In 2001 the Moscow Arkhip Lyulka construction bureau (formerly AO Lyulka-Saturn), merged with AO Rybinsk Motors into AO NPO Saturn. The Lyulka-Saturn joint-stock company has been making jet engines for combat aircraft for more than fifty years. LYULKA-SATURN, Inc is a well known Russian developer and manufacturer of turbojet engines for military and civil aviation. Such aircraft as SU-27, SU-30, SU-37, MIG-23B are powered by Lyulka-Saturn engines of AL family, including AL-31F engine with vector controlled nozzle. Lyulka-Saturn also cooperates with leading western companies under the program of industrialisation of the AL-31-ST for gas pumping stations and power generation.

The Ufa Motor-Building Production Association was a very solid big plant that independently manufactures Lyulka-Saturn AL-31 engines and their modifications. Lyulka-Saturn cooperates with Ufa on a number of promising programs, including the development of a new engine. The Ufa plant was a very important partner of Lyulka-Saturn. There was a possibility that at the next stage of its development, Lyulka-Saturn an integrated entity involving UMPO. In 2006 it was planned that aircraft engine building companies would be merged into four holdings. The fourth holding will include Perm Engine Company, NPO Saturn and Ufimskoe Engine Building Production Company.

The Lyulka-Saturn company was engaged in developing a whole series of engines based on the AL-31F. One of them was the AL-31FN turbofan engine featuring engine accessory gearbox and aircraft accessory gearbox mounted beneath. The basic variant boasts those gearboxes mounted on top of the engine, which resulted from peculiarities of the Su-27's aerodynamic configuration.

Arkhip Lyulka (1908-1984) was born in the village of Savarka, Kiev province to a large peasant's family. In 1931, he graduated from the Kiev Technological University. From 1933 to 1939, he delivered lectures in Kharkov Aeronautical Institute. In 1937 in Kharkov, Arkhip Lyulka began working on the project of an air-breathing engine with a centrifugal compressor. The engine was intended for the KhAI-2 fighter. However, the work outran the engineering capabilities of that time.

During that period, the designer created the turbojet engine design with an axial compressor, which was approved by the People's Commissariat of Aviation Industry. The work started in the specialized design bureau (SKB-1) in Leningrad. There in Leningrad A. Lyulka designed the RD-1, the first turbojet engine in the USSR. In April 1941, A. Lyulka received certificate of authorship for the bypass turbojet engine design that was recognized over the world.

However, the plans of the turbojet engine creation had to be put aside because of the war. For some time A. Lyulka worked at the tank plant in Chelyabinsk. Beginning from 1943, he continued working on a turbojet engine. On March 30, 1946 the OKB-165 experimental design bureau was established, to develop domestic turbojet engines, and Arkhip Lyulka was appointed the manager of this bureau. This is the date of A. Lyulka Saturn design bureau foundation.

Under the direction of A. Lyulka the first TR-1 domestic turbojet engine was created. Later on the A. Lyulka design bureau created a whole range of successful turbojet engines, which powered the Sukhoi, Tupolev, Ilyushin, and Beriev aircraft. The most well-known among them during those years were the AL-7 family engines: AL-7P (for the Tu-110), AL-7PB and AL-7TB (for the first IL-62 aircraft). By the government decision, the engines designed by the A. Lyulka design bureau came to be named with the initial letters AL designating Arkhip Lyulka.

The designer equipped further modifications of the AL-7 with an afterburner. The AL-7F was intended for the first S-1 supersonic fighter designed by the Sukhoi design bureau. The engine turned out to be so successful that the aircraft designers endeavored to install it on their new aircraft: the IL-54, the Tu-98, the Sukhoi T-3 and P-1 interceptors, the Mikoyan I-7U and I-75, and the Lavochkin La-250.

The IL-54, S-1 and T-3 aircraft took part in the parade; and the S-1 aircraft for the first time in the USSR attained speed twice as high as the sound speed. Soon the AL-7F and its further modifications, i.e. the AL-7F-1, the AL-7F-2, were simultaneously launched into serial production at several plants.

From 1950 to 1960 Professor A. Lyulka delivered lectures in MAI (Moscow Aviation Institute). In 1957, he became General Designer of the OKB-165, and the OKB-45 that had been working on the Klimov engines was handed over to his supervision.

In 1965-70, a new generation of engines emerged in the design bureau. That was the AL-21F engine family. Besides, during this period projects of small gas-turbine engines and liquid-propellant rocket engines were initiated.

In the early 1970s, A. Lyulka turned to implementation of his invention - the bypass mixed-flow turbojet engine design, the certificate of authorship for which he received in 1941. Nowadays, the absolute majority of gas-turbine engines in the world are built based on this design.

In 1976, the A. Lyulka design bureau took up to creating the AL-31F 4th generation engine to power the Su-27 front-line fighter developed by the Sukhoi design bureau. This engine has become the peak of A. Lyulka's creative work. By estimates, the best domestic engine was installed on the best aircraft, on which from 1986 to 1988 more than 30 world records were established. The AL-31F engine, developed by NPO Saturn in 1976-1985 under General Designer academician A.M. Lyulka, and at the official test stage under General Designer V.M. Chepkin (who headed the design bureau from 1984 to 2000), and up to now was considered one of the best engines in the world for the front-line aviation. The AL-31F was fitted to the Su-27 fighter and its modifications, the Su-33 carrier-borne fighters, the Su-35 multi-purpose fighters, the Su-30MK, and the Su-34 front-line bombers.

Broadening this knowledge and traditions of Arkhip Lyulka's school of design means transition of this knowledge to contemporary tracks. Today, quite new information and technological potentialities are applied both in this country and throughout the world; and all these are actively applied at NPO Saturn while developing up-to-date engines.

The most important task for the company was to create no less successful engine prototypes, bring them into operation, and equip the next generation of Sukhoi design bureau aircraft with new powerplants. Today, together with the partner the Ufa Motor-Building Production Association, Lyuka creates a new engine for the Sukhoi design bureau, i.e. for the 5th generation aircraft. Quite a new aircraft, the Su-35 multi-purpose fighter, has flown powered with the Izdeliye-117 / AL-41F1 engines; it was successfully passing the flight tests. All the tasks the company was facing in the framework of the Sukhoi design bureau provision with up-to-date powerplants will be performed. The main thing to do was to upgrade the existing production, to preserve the design school, to select the best people for them to bring up such general designers. This was the best way to retain the heritage of great designer Arkhip Lyulka".

There is such a notion as a school of design. Arkhip Lyulka created his own school of design - the school of creating super-modern turbojet engines for combat aircraft. Heritage means knowledge, both theoretical and practical, which has been accumulated for dozens of years, and which relates to starting the engine design, the engine layout, development, powerplant integration into the aircraft.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the Scientific-and-Technical Center named after A. Lyulka and the Lytkarino Machine-Building Plant, which had been created and headed by Arkhip Lyulka for a long time, formed a merger with OAO NPO Saturn. Today, NPO Saturn is a company specialized in development and serial production of gas-turbine engines for military and civil aviation, power-generating and gas-pumping units, and propulsion systems for ships. The company incorporates the gas-turbine engine production plant, experimental design bureau and pilot plant in Rybinsk, and affiliates in Moscow, Moscow region, St. Petersburg, design-engineering center in Perm.




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