In an effort to boost sales in the luxury market, the Russian Helicopters has introduced the Ansat Aurus, a helicopter with VVIP interior similar to that of the Aurus Senat limousine, which was developed for President Putin and his ministers in 2013-2018 under the Kortezh project. At MAKS 2019 the manufacturer exhibited a serial Ansat with a passenger cabin configured for five travelers in a style of the Aurus Senat on display nearby. The Ansat Aurus is a joint product of Russian Helicopters and its new partner NAMI, local acronym for “Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engines Institute." Following its first public appearance at Putin’s inauguration in May 2018, the Senat series automobiles won several lucrative orders from heads of states and large corporations, loading the production line through late 2021.
Also at MAKS 2019, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency “Rosaviatsiya” awarded the manufacturer a supplementary type certificate for the Ansat with an eight-time extension of the fuselage lifetime from 2,000 flying hours up to 16,000. Speaking at the ceremony, Russian Helicopters CEO Andrei Boginsky said, “That big an increase comes as a result of the serious work done by our engineers.” According to him, this achievement has helped the manufacturer win a contact from Polar Airlines on seven “vastly improved” Ansats. Due for delivery in 2021, these will come in a new “Artic” version intended for work in the cold climate of Russia’s Extreme North territories.
The Artic version is being developed to meet specifications compiled by Polar Airlines that call for non-hangar storage, extended range, a suitable anti-icing system, and instrument flight rules (IFR) capability in the given theater of operations. Out of the seven helicopters on order, three will come with medical equipment installed, and the rest with provision made for similar items on request. Apart from medevac duties, these rotorcraft can transport passengers and be used in search-and-rescue, fire-fighting, surveillance, and other duties. Based in Yakutia, Polar Airlines has a fleet of 64 aircraft including 27 Mi-8/17 series helicopters.