Russian Helicopter is expected to finalize the concept of an advanced high-speed helicopter in the next 12 to 18 months, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Yury Slyusar announced shortly before HeliRussia 2014. The initial development phase will involve the construction of technology demonstrators; a marketable product may emerge by 2020.
Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev says the program is currently in the design definition phase, which involves discussions on a possible increase in the maximum cruise speed. “The [target maximum] speed has not been defined yet,” he says, but adds that the helicopter will cruise at over 400 km/h. Slyusar, for his part, notes that cruising speed is not the defining factor for commercial operators: “Customers are primarily interested in an aircraft’s performance and operating costs.”
The new helicopter is expected to be certified in 2020. The program’s overall cost is estimated at some 7.5 billion rubles (about $215 million). Russian Helicopters will contribute its own funds; the development effort will also be subsidized from the state budget.
High-speed helicopter programs are also conducted by some foreign manufacturers like Airbus Helicopters and Sikorsky.