Russian Helicopters’ Kazan Helicopters unit has completed testing an Ansat light twin helicopter equipped with a ditching system. It consists of inflatable buoyancy chambers (ballonets), two life rafts, and an emergency life support package that includes a radio beacon. Kazan said the ballonets will keep the helicopter afloat for approximately 30 minutes. The company plans on submitting the system to Russia’s federal air transport agency, Rosaviatsia, for certification approval.
The ditching system is designed to give the Ansat market appeal for potential offshore oil and search-and-rescue customers, according to Russian Helicopters CEO Andrey Boginsky. Its Ansat is currently being marketed to the EMS and utility segments. “We are continuing our work to improve the air safety of the Ansat,” said Boginsky. “Together with high performance, this [ditching system] will make the Ansat even more attractive to fuel and energy companies and rescue services."
Over the summer, Russian helicopters completed high-altitude testing of the Ansat to 11,483 feet and rolled out a version equipped with a police package. The aircraft has an mtow of 7,937 pounds, a payload of 2,866 pounds, a cruise speed of 140 knots, and a full tanks range of 280 nm.