Russian Helicopters Showcases Range of Twins
Russian Helicopters is here at the Singapore Airshow (Stand U87) exhibiting three models: the Ka-32A11BC medium twin in rescue and firefighting configuration; the Ka-226T light twin with a medical module; and the Mi-38 heavy twin, which is primarily designed for passenger and cargo transportation.
According to a company spokesman, Asian markets are one of the top priorities for Russian Helicopters. Last November the airframer delivered a second Mi-171 medium twin to Airfast Indonesia, a provider of aviation services to the oil, mining and construction industries.
In the same country, last summer, Avialift Vladivostok operated Ka-32A11BCs to fight forest fires on the island of Sumatra. For such missions, Russian Helicopters touts the type’s controllability, thanks to its coaxial main rotors and absence of a tailrotor. “The helicopter can be turned sideways or with its tail to the wind; these maneuvers come easily and it is very forgiving of minor mistakes in piloting,” said Avialift pilot Alexander Tikhonov. The helicopter can take on board up to five metric tons (11,000 pounds) of water.
The Ka-226T twin, which also features coaxial rotors, is powered by Turbomeca Arrius 2G1s. After several delays it is still waiting for its Russian certification–now scheduled for later this year. Some production examples are ready for delivery, according to the manufacturer.
The 34,400-pound mtow Mi-38, which is capable of carrying 30 passengers, is another protracted program. Certification, under Russian AP-29 standards, is now planned for 2015. Production is also expected to begin that year in Kazan, where the fourth and final prototype of the helicopter is currently being assembled.
The third prototype Mi-38was the first fitted with Klimov TV7-117V engines. It made its maiden flight on November 29 at the Mil Moscow helicopter plant. The new Fadec-controlled turboshaft is rated at 2,800 shp on takeoff, comparing favorably with the 2,500-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127/TSs that powered previous prototypes. Production Mi-38s are planned to be fitted with Klimov engines.