Russian firm relaunches Mi-34 with Arrius engine

 - September 30, 2009, 12:39 PM

Russian Helicopters is relaunching production of the Mi-34S1 light piston helicopter and simultaneously working on a turbine version, the Mi-34S2 Sapsan, powered by a Turbomeca Arrius 2F. The Sapsan (Russian for peregrine falcon) is expected to be certified under U.S. FAR 27 and European CS 27 regulations.

First delivery is pegged for the fourth quarter of 2011, during which the company plans to manufacture five copies of the helicopter. This rate will increase to a target 40 per year in 2016. However, production will start only if the company receives enough orders, said a spokesman.

The $1 million Sapsan is aimed at markets such as Russia, CIS countries, Asia, Africa and Latin America. It is slated to enter European Union and U.S. markets in 2016.

Several enterprises within the framework of Russian Helicopters will be involved. Reduktor PM will be in charge of the main and tail gearboxes and transmission shafts. Stupino Machine-Building Industrial Enterprise will build the main and tail rotor heads, as well as the swash plate. The Arsenyev Aviation Company Progress N.I. Sazykin factory will make the fuselage and the main and tail rotor blades. Final assembly will take place in Arsenyev.

As for power, Russian Helicopters and Turbomeca signed a memorandum of understanding in August at the MAKS airshow in Zhukovsky, Russia. According to program manager Dmitry Rodin, the first firm orders for the Arrius 2F should come in November, for the engines for the prototype. Russian Helicopters also plans to map out an order plan for the next five years. Turbomeca told AIN that the turboshaft will be the standard version, with minimal modification.

The Mi-34S1 was produced between 1993 and 2002, during which time 22 were built.