Russian Helicopters obtained type certification last week for its medium-twin Mi-171A2 from Rosaviatsia, the Federal Air Transport Agency of the Russian Federation. This clears the way for serial production and commercial deliveries.
Testing had begun in 2014 with four flying prototypes and two static test items. Since the beginning of 2017, test aircraft had performed more than 200 flights. The updated version of the Mi-8/17 features more than 80 upgrades and changes from the legacy helicopter, including VK-2500PS-03 engines with Fadec (the civil version of the engines installed on the Mi-28 combat helicopter), a more robust transmission to accommodate the engine power increase, digital avionics with a health usage and monitoring system (HUMS) and a reconfigured cockpit to allow operations by two-man crews.
It also features a new rotor system that includes aerodynamically redesigned, all-composite main rotor blades and an X-shaped tail rotor, which together provide 1,543 pounds of additional thrust and improved performance. The Mi-171A2 is certified for VFR/IFR, overwater and Category A operations, including continued OEI flight at mtow.
Russian Helicopters CEO Andrey Boginsky said the Mi-171A2 would give operators of legacy Mi-8/17s “ample opportunities to renew” their fleets. The rationale for developing the model was to improve its operating economics and make it more attractive to the export market by increasing conformity to Western airworthiness standards.