MAKS 2011: Klimov-powered Version of Mi-38 Makes a Debut

 - August 29, 2011, 4:45 AM
The Russian-powered version of the Mi-38 (left) made its debut at the Moscow Air Show, alongside the P&WC-powered version (right). (Photo: Vladimir Karnozov)

The first example of the Mi-382 helicopter (S/N 38011) made its debut in the static display at the Moscow Air Show (MAKS 2011). This version of the Mi-38 differs from the baseline model in having two 3,750-shp Klimov TV7-117V powerplants, instead of Pratt & Whitney Canada PWC 127/5 turboshafts.

At the show, Russian Helicopters said that both of the Mi-38 development prototypes (38011 and 38012) are in flight test. A further two prototypes are being completed. All four are equipped with IKBO-38 glass cockpit avionics from St. Petersburg-based Transas. Certification of the primary passenger version with 32 seats is planned for next year, series production start for 2013 and deliveries for 2014. Mi-38 variants include military transport, special mission, cargo (with sling), medical and air surveillance.

Aleksei Grigoriev, director for turboshaft programs with Russia’s United Engine Corp., admitted to AIN that development of the TV7-117V engine had taken a long time. The first version, designated TV7-117S, appeared in 1997 and the improved TV7-117SM development was certified in 2003. These, however, were produced in small numbers due to failure of the Ilyushin Il-114 regional turboprop project. Two years ago, development of the turboshaft version was restarted for the Mi-38 program.

On the Mi-38, the Klimov engine develops 3,750 shp at emergency power and 2,800 to 3,000 shp at takeoff mode, while demonstrating fuel consumption of 195 gram per shp. “The Canadian engine does not come close to these figures,” Grigoriev claimed. Today’s TV7-117V is a 3-D computer-aided design that retains the compressor and elements of the combustor from the original TV7-117, but features a completely new turbine and Fadec.

Using “something old, something new” enabled Klimov to cut the development cycle while delivering high performance, Grigoriev said. “Recent innovations were mostly to improve reliability and avoid possible problems in mass manufacture and operational service,” he added.

Engine development continues and should be completed early next year, so that the Mi-382 can be available by the end of 2013. At MAKS 2011, Klimov said it had 10 engines assembled, including four “completely flight ready” to support the Mi-382 flight trials.

The Mi-38 is positioned as a next-generation helicopter in the class of the successful Mi-8/17 family, which it will supplement rather than replace. Basically a civilian machine with a five-metric-ton payload and a roomy cabin for passenger operations, the Mi-38 can provide a platform for the development of future transport and multipurpose helicopters for the Russian armed forces.