After a number of delays, Russian Helicopters is reevaluating four helicopter programs that were slated for certification this year or next, namely the Ka-226, Ka-62, Mi-171A2 and Mi-38. The company is conducting “an analysis and assessment of all its new programs to determine more precisely time frames for certification and the start of serial production,” a spokesman told AIN.
The much-publicized fatal accident of Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363, a Boeing 737, at Kazan International Airport on November 17, 2013, has resulted in a big re-shuffle of aviation assets in the Republic of Tatarstan. The flight had been operated on behalf of Ak Bars Aero, which has its head office in Bugulma in Tatarstan (part of the Russian Federation).
The rarefied offshore energy market continues to be the prime driver for development of new civil helicopters, but the training and entry-level market is also heating up, with Bell and others announcing or hinting at new models. Various studies predict that worldwide civil helicopter production will double between now and 2020 in terms of overall sales value as OEMs focus on delivering larger and more expensive helicopters.
In an end-of-year statement, Russian Helicopters confirmed that the Mil Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopter has finally been accepted into service. The company also listed deliveries for 2013.
In a bid to establish an equal footing with Western helicopter manufacturers, Russian Helicopters recently made multiple announcements about sales, programs and joint ventures.
Russian Helicopters’ Ansat light twin helicopter was certified late last week by Russia’s Aviation Register of the Interstate Aviation Committee, albeit with conventional flight controls in lieu of the original fly-by-wire (FBW) system.
More than 8,000 Russian rotorcraft are in operation in more than hundred countries around the world–twenty types and around forty variants with major upgrades. Their manufacturer, Russian Helicopters (Hall 2a, Stand C198), which claims it has 14 percent of the world’s fleet, reported a profit of Roubles 9.4 billion ($300 million) in 2012–and a hefty 21 percent rise in revenues, to RUB125.7 billion.
Russian Helicopters, which is redeveloping the Ansat with conventional (as opposed to the original fly-by-wire) flight controls, expects to achieve Russian certification in the fourth quarter, with serial production to start in January. The next step will be EASA certification, expected next year or in 2014. Russian Helicopters is developing a new fuel system to comply with European requirements.
The Russian aerospace industry made a strong showing at the Farnborough airshow last week, with 55 entities represented. Eighteen full-scale exhibits were on display, including a Yak-130 combat trainer, an Aeroflot SSJ100 jetliner, and SaM146 and PD14 turbofan engines. The Ka-62 helicopter–a civil version of the military multirole Ka-62–made its international debut in the form of a full-scale mockup.
Russian Helicopters is redeveloping the Kazan Ansat light twin with conventional flight controls, rather than the fly-by-wire (FBW) system with which it has been flying thus far in military applications. “No FBW civil helicopter had been certified before and no standard requirements existed,” Russian Helicopters explained. Certification is expected in the second half of this year.
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