Russian Helicopters has completed a series of Mil Mi-38 high/hot and IFR test flights designed to expand the aircraft’s approved flight envelope. The helicopter made more than 50 flights in the Southern Russian city of Astrakhan, confirming its ability to operate at ambient temperatures of up to 113 degrees F. High-altitude tests at Mount Elbrus (15,554 feet) validated the Mi-38's ability to fly at altitudes of up to 9,843 feet mean sea level. Another 50 IFR flights were made. Test results were delivered to the Federal Air Transport Agency Rosaviatsiya to make additions to the helicopter type certificate.
"Considering there's high interest in the helicopter from both Russian and foreign customers, we're trying to test and document its capabilities to the maximum. In particular, we are planning to test a new surveillance system and certify new hardened main rotor blades [which will also be used in Mi-171A2] in the near future," said Andrey Boginsky, director general of Russian Helicopters.
The Mi-38 features Russian-made high-performance TV7-117V engines, an integrated digital flight deck, a crash-resistant fuel system, and additional landing gear support for soft ground and snow landings. The $17 million Mi-38 gained civil certification in 2015. Deliveries of a militarized version began last year. The aircraft can carry up to 30 passengers or 11,000 pounds of cargo.