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The Beriev Be-103 (in English sometimes called "Snipe") is an amphibious
seaplane designed by the Beriev Aircraft Company and constructed by the
Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association (KnAAPO) in Russia. Intended
for autonomous operation in the unmarked areas of Russia's far north and
Siberia, the Be-103 was designed for short-haul routes in regions that have
rivers, lakes and streams, but are otherwise inaccessible.
The Be-103 is a mid-wing monoplane, making use of the modified wing roots as
water-displacing sponsons. It features an all-moving slab tail and retractable
tricycle landing gear for land operations. Its hallmark and most distinguishing
design feature is the water-displacing wing, an unusual feature for a seaplane,
with three aquaplaning implements (planing step, port and starboard wing
trailing edges) which substantially enhance the aircraft's on-the-water
stability and seaworthiness.
The Be-103 features include an advanced, blended wing, swept at 22°, with
11-foot (3.4 m)-long fixed leading edge slats, trailing-link main landing gear,
and three-bladed MT-12 reverse pitch propellers. Fuel is stored in the wet
wings. The aircraft is built from aluminum-lithium alloy with titanium used in
high-stress areas. A 30-parameter, five-hour flight data recorder, engine
fire-detection systems and an ice detector are also standard, as are hydraulic
brakes. However, unlike most modern aircraft, the Be-103 is not equipped with
When flying solo, ballast must be placed near the right front seat due to center
of gravity issues.
15 July 1997
The Be-103 received its Federal Aviation Administration type certification on 21
July 2003 at the EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where the
aircraft had arrived via An-124 airlift. The type certificate was handed over by
the FAA's co-chairman of regulations and certification, Nicholas Sabatini. The
aircraft is also certified in Brazil, the People's Republic of China, the
European Union, and Russia.
On 1 August 2003, FAA Director Marion Blakey visited the Be-103's display area
at the exhibition in order to familiarize herself personally with the aircraft
and to meet representatives of the developer, manufacturer and Air Register.
The obtaining of FAA certification allows official sales of the Be-103 to begin
in the US and Canada. After the exhibition, the first production Be-103
aircraft were officially handed over to its American dealer, Kent Linn of Sky
Manor Airport in Pittstown, New Jersey. Domestic and international market
demands (until 2015) were estimated at 520 and 250–330 units, respectively.
The Be-103 was the first Russian aircraft to be in the "Normal" category by the
FAA. and along with the Dornier Seastar is the only twin-engine amphibian
currently in production.
As of 2010, three aircraft were on the United States civil register. In 2004
China signed a US$20mil contract with KnAAPO for the delivery of 20 aircraft.
Twin-engine light utility amphibian aircraft, seating one pilot and five
Eight-seat version powered by single VOKEM M14X radial engine; one prototype.
Crew: 1 (Pilot)
Capacity: 5 passengers or 545 kilograms (1,202 lb) cargo
Length: 10.7 m (35 ft 1 in)
Wingspan: 12.5 m (41 ft 0 in)
Height: 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in)
Wing area: 25.1 m2 (270 sq ft)
Empty weight: 1,730 kg (3,814 lb)
Gross weight: 2,283 kg (5,033 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 2,270 kg (5,004 lb)
Fuel capacity: 340 litres (90 US gal)
Powerplant: 2 × Continental IO-360-ES4 fuel-injected Horizontally opposed piston
engines, 157 kW (211 hp) each
Propellers: 3-bladed MT-Propeller MT-12, 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) diameter
Cruise speed: 235 km/h (146 mph; 127 kn)
Stall speed: 111 km/h (69 mph; 60 kn)
Never exceed speed: 241 km/h (150 mph; 130 kn)
Minimum control speed: 115 km/h (71 mph; 62 kn)
Range: 845 km (525 mi; 456 nmi)
Service ceiling: 5,000 m (16,000 ft)
Wing loading: 90.3 kg/m2 (18.5 lb/sq ft)
Power/mass: 11.9lb/hp (7.2 kg/kW)
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