The Russian Helicopters holding, a merge of national rotorcraft manufacturers and designers, continues work to develop new helicopter models. One of these is the Mil Mi-38 heavy transport, which is expected to go into series production in 2015-2016. The company’s Kazan production facility is now completing the assembly of the fourth prototype. Since late 2013, the third Mi-38 prototype has been in flight tests at the national helicopter building center at Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant. This aircraft is fitted with Russian Klimov TV7-117V engines and an Aerosila TA14-038 APU. Meanwhile, endurance testing continues in parallel.
The TV7-117V engine’s emergency power is 2,800 to 3,750 h/p. Klimov CEO Alexander Vatagin says the engine performs better than the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127XS which was used on the first Mi-38 prototypes. Klimov expects to have the powerplant certified in November this year. The Mi-38 should complete factory tests in June 2015, and the validation tests in November. Type certification is expected in late 2015 or early 2016.
The Mi-38 can carry over 5 ton of freight internally or over 7 ton externally. It can be used as a passenger and VIP transport, for SAR, medevac and offshore operations. Russian Helicopters says the new helicopter can be operated in a variety of climates, including maritime, tropical and Arctic conditions.
The company is also working to upgrade its best-selling family of Mi-8/17 medium utility helicopters. In spring this year, the new KBO-17 avionics suite was tested on the first prototype of the latest Mi-171A2 modification.
Russian Helicopters representatives said earlier that the Mi-171A2’s modernized rotor system had been flown on a testbed. The main rotor blades are composite and the rotor head and swashplate are redesigned. The helicopter will have an upgraded 8M transmission and a Х-shaped tail rotor. The new version features lower main rotor vibrations, a 700-kg increase in main rotor thrust, and better directional stability thanks to the redesigned tail rotor. The flying testbed reached a maximum speed of 300 kph. A second prototype is expected to join the testing program this year.
The Mi-171A2 is expected to be awarded a Russian type certificate in the second quarter of 2015, after which series production will begin.
Although Russian Helicopter delivered 275 helicopters in 2013, or 5.2% down on the previous year, the company built a total of 303 new aircraft. CEO Alexander Mikheev explains the insignificant reduction in deliveries by a revised timeline. The company’s profit stayed virtually unchanged from 2012, growing 1.3% to reach 9.5 bln rubles ($278.5 mln). Consolidated revenue grew 10% to 138.3 bln rubles.
Russian Helicopters delivered nine different helicopter types to customers in 10 countries. Domestic deliveries, mostly to the Russian Defense Ministry, accounted for the greatest portion of all deliveries. Asia proved the largest export region by volume, bringing the company 45.4 bln rubles. India and China were the main customers in that region.
Russian Helicopters has a sizeable backlog of firm orders, which stood at 808 aircraft worth 401.2 bln rubles as of late 2013.
http://www.ato.ru/content/russian-helicopters-work-new-models Elizaveta Kazachkova and Maxim Pyadushkin
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