Kazan wins 100-ship deal, begins military Ansat

 - May 6, 2008, 9:01 AM

As its civil Ansat light-twin helo nears Russian certification, Kazan helicopters has begun work on a military variant as part of a program funded by Russia’s defense ministry.

Unlike most promising aircraft programs coming out of what was once the Soviet Union, the Ansat has progressed steadily, recently beating out rivals Mil and Kamov for a prized contract to supply 100 helicopters to the Russian army flight school. The latest reports from Kazan maintain that Russian certification under the government’s AP-29 rules will be granted during the first quarter of next year.

The Ansat design is the first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter intended for series production under development anywhere in the world. The various prototypes have been flown under power from a variety of candidate powerplants, among them an engine made in Russia under terms of a deal between Pratt & Whitney and enginemaker Rus. The PW207K, a 650-shp growth version of the 453-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206C, is in competition with other engines of roughly equal power, among them the Ukranian ZMKB Progress Al-450 and Russia’s Klimov VK-800.