Russian Helicopters and Elcom Systems, part of Indian investment conglomerate Sun Group, have signed an agreement to create a factory, in India, for building Russian Helicopters’ Mi- and Ka- brands. The first model to be produced will be the Ka-226T light twin. The joint venture will manufacture “key helicopter units” and perform final assembly. It will even have ground and flight-test capability. Another agreement was reached to create a training organization for pilots and maintenance technicians.
Russian Helicopters has received an order for 18 Ka-226TG light twins from NefteGazAeroCosmos, a gas “research and production center.” Six helicopters are scheduled for delivery next year, with the rest to follow in 2014. The Ka-226TG, a “modernized” version of the in-development Ka-226T, is designed to “meet the client’s needs for operations in the Far North and on the Arctic shelf.” It will feature a KBO-226TG avionics suite for low-visibility operations, and additional fuel tanks. It retains Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 turboshafts.
Russian Helicopters has received an order for 18 Ka-226TG light twins from NefteGazAeroCosmos, a “research and production center” linked to Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom. Six helicopters are scheduled for delivery next year and the remaining dozen in 2014.
Russian Helicopters unveiled a full-size mockup of the reworked Kamov Ka-62 medium twin at the HeliRussia 2012 show in Moscow in May.
Russian Helicopters’ production is on the up and the company is modernizing its factories in anticipation of this trend continuing.
Between 2004 and 2011, the company tripled production, from 85 to 262 helicopters, and last year its revenues from both civil and military rotorcraft grew 40 percent, to RUB120 billion ($4 billion).
Claiming a global market share of 14 percent by aircraft value, Andrei Reus, Russian Helicopters chairman and director general of parent company Oboronprom, ranks Russian Helicopters “third by global sales” behind Sikorsky and Eurocopter.
Component specialist Aviall Services and Helicopter Service Co. (HSC), a subsidiary of Russian manufacturer Russian Helicopters, have signed an agreement to support rotorcraft powered by Rolls-Royce M250 engines. HSC, which operates the only M250 authorized support center in Russia, will buy parts for M250 engines and other helicopter parts directly from Aviall. Currently there are more than 100 M250-powered helicopters in Russia, mostly Kamov Ka-226 light twins.
Olivier Andriès, who has been the CEO of Turbomeca since June, predicts that helicopter engines will become fuel-electric hybrids around 2030. He also predicted that, in about 20 years, conventional turbine engine performance will be close to an asymptote. By that, he meant further improvement of turbine technology will be enormously difficult and expensive, if not impossible. So the next step will be hybridization, he said. “We will see integrated propulsion systems using thermodynamic and electric solutions,” he told AIN.
The in-development Kamov Ka-226T light twin, a Turbomeca-powered version of the Russian coaxial-rotor helicopter, has taken part in research training for the Winter Olympics that are to take place in 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
EASA certified the Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 turboshaft that powers the Kamov Ka-226T light twin, Kamov parent company Russian Helicopters announced this week. The Ka-226T is a coaxial-rotor helicopter that features a service ceiling of 24,000 feet, according to the manufacturer. It seats eight, including the pilot, and has an mtow of 7,900 pounds.
The European Union market is a “top priority” for Russian Helicopters, and the manufacturer does not want to limit those Russian-made models that are in operation there to rescue and firefighting.