Russian Helicopters grows backlog for Kamov Ka-62
Russian Helicopters strengthened the backlog of its developmental Kamov Ka-62 medium twin on the first day of the MAKS air show, with an order for five of the 6.5t type from Colombian operator Vertical de Aviaci?n. The firm is the second Latin American customer for the new helicopter, with Brazil's Atlas T?xi A?reo in December 2012 having committed to seven of the type. First flight of the Ka-62, which will be powered by Turbomeca Ardiden 3G engines, is pegged for the end of the year, with entry-into-service due to follow in 2015. However, a press release from Turbomeca suggests the maiden sortie could take place "in the coming weeks". A completed prototype of the 15-passenger helicopter was shown on the static display at MAKS. It will undergo ground tests over the coming months, says Alexander Vagin, Kamov's chief designer. Russian Helicopters intends to perform certification trials with a three-strong flight test fleet. The second prototype should arrive in December, with a sister aircraft following in early 2014. Two additional Ka-62 airframes will be used for ground tests. One fuselage will be employed in static tests, while the other - equipped with powerplants, gearboxes and landing gear - will undergo engine and transmission system trials. Vagin says the flight test programme should be finished either in late 2014 or early 2015, with certification and deliveries following. The manufacturer will also work with both its Latin American customers to obtain certification for the Ka-62 from their respective national regulators, Kamov says. Kamov aims to produce up to 35 units a year, although the capacity could be expanded if necessary, adds Vagin. Vertical de Aviaci?n additionally ordered five Mil Mi-171As at MAKS, for use in a transport role at its Mexican subsidiary.