Russian Helicopters, the holding company that combines the country’s helicopter industry under one umbrella, has received EASA certification for the 11-metric-ton (24,000 pounds) Kamov Ka-32A11BC. Already flown by state organizations in Europe, the Ka-32A11BC is thus now available to commercial operators.
“EASA certification of the Ka-32A11BC offers new prospects,” such as passenger transportation, load carrying, high-rise construction, firefighting, mountain electric line construction, patrolling and search-and-rescue, according to Russian Helicopters CEO Andrei Shibitov.
In a firefighting role, the Ka-32A11BC can carry 8,800 pounds of water in a Bambi bucket as a sling load. For search-and-rescue operations, the helicopter can rescue seven or eight people at a time with four hours of endurance.
The A11BC version of the Ka-32 is the first capable of flying at night and under IFR. Its coaxial contrarotating rotors eliminate the need for an antitorque tail rotor, which gives it an advantage in tailwind conditions.
Designed by Kamov, the Ka-32 is built by Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise, which is also part of Russian Helicopters. Currently, the production rate is said to be close to 10 aircraft per year.
The Ka-32A11BC is powered by two Klimov TV3-117 VMA engines, each providing 2,200 shp. It has a cruise speed of 125 knots and a maximum speed of 140 knots. It can fly 360 nm and has a maximum rate of climb of 3,000 fpm. Its service ceiling is 17,400 feet, while it can hover out of ground effect at an altitude of up to 12,100 feet.
It can carry cargo loads of 8,100 pounds internally or 11,000 pounds as a sling load. Or it can accommodate 15 passengers. The cabin height is four feet to allow room for the large cargo bay below.
In Europe, Ka-32s are now operated in Spain (10 helicopters), Portugal (six Ka-32A11BCs) and Switzerland (one aircraft). The helicopters are also operated in Canada, South Korea, Chile, Mexico, Taiwan, Japan, China and Papua New Guinea. The Korean fleet of Ka-32s exceeds 60, which are used by the Forestry Service for firefighting missions and by the Coast Guard.