P&W Tapped to Power Russia’s VRT500 Light Copter

 - November 18, 2019, 4:07 AM

VR-Technologies, a division of Russian Helicopters Holding Company (RHHC; Stand 570), and Pratt & Whitney (Stand 1320) signed on Monday at the Dubai Airshow a contract for outfitting the in-development VRT500 light helicopter with PW207V gas-turbine engines. The same day, RHHC announced the impending purchase of half of the subsidiary by the UAE’s Emirati Tawazun Holding Company. 

The Pratt & Whitney PW207V is an advanced version of the PW200 engine family designed for light rotorcraft, and will be adapted to power the single-engine copter. The five-passenger VRT500, whose first flight is anticipated late next year, will be offered in passenger, cargo, utility, training, EMS, and VIP configurations.

“The main component of any operating system is the engine,” said VR Technologies CEO Alexander Okhonko, lauding the PW200 family as “having “a proven track record in safety, reliability, economy, and ease of maintenance.” 

Added Andrey Boginsky, RHHC director general, “PW200 engines are being operated in more than 80 countries worldwide, which should considerably simplify the certification of VRT500 and render its after-sale support more accessible and efficient.”

RHHC’s agreement with the Emirati Tawazun Holding Company signed at the show calls for the latter to buy half the shares of VR-Technologies, with the purchase slated to close in Q1 2020. 

Abdullah Nasser Al Jaabari, chief officer and head of Tawazun Strategic Development Fund, said, “This agreement stems from the Fund’s commitment to support the UAE’s strategic vision of investing in advanced industries and transferring relevant technologies".

Subsequent to the closing, RHHC plans “to invest at least 400 million Euro in the development of VR-Technologies, which will help make the company's products competitive and in demand all over the world," Boginsky said.

Both parties will also cooperate in promoting VR-Technologies’ products in the Middle East, and the Gulf States in particular.

In an indication the partners’ confidence is well founded, VR-Technologies closed out the day by signing a corresponding dealership agreement with Sweden’s Rotorcraft Nordic AB, under which Nordic intends to acquire ten VRT500 helicopters in a basic configuration prior to 2023.