Russian Helicopters Opens MAKS with Big Order, New Variants

 - July 23, 2021, 10:39 AM

Russian Helicopters opened the MAKS-2021 show in Moscow this week with an order for 50 of its new Mi-8AMT helicopters from Russia’s UTair and the unveiling of more variants of its legacy Mi-171A, Ka-32A, and Ansat helicopters. 

Deliveries of the Mi-8AMTs to UTair will begin in 2022. The company plans to use the helicopters to renew its current fleet, which is largely employed in support of Russia’s oil and gas sectors. Unlike previous Mi-8 variants, the AMT can be operated with a two-person crew. It can seat up to 27 passengers and can haul four tons of cargo either inside the cabin or externally sling-loaded.

UTair collaborated with Russian Helicopters on the AMT’s design. The company already operates more than 100 helicopters from the Russian OEM’s Mi-17 family. “Together, we managed to create a unique product for the world helicopter market with the highest level of flight safety at a minimum price for heavy helicopters," said UTair CEO Andrei Martirosov. "The 50 new machines are an important part of our fleet management plan implementation, as outlined in the airline's financial model.” 

Russian Helicopters is displaying upgraded models of other helicopters at the show. The 24-passenger Mi-171A3, which will make its first flight next year, is the first Russian Helicopters aircraft designed for offshore energy operations. It was developed in accordance with the standards of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) and has hourly operating costs that are 20 percent less than those of comparable Western helicopters, according to the company.

The Ka-32A11M features new higher-output VK-2500PS-02 turbine engines with digital electronic controls and the new KBO-32 digital avionics that give the helicopter night and IFR capability. It can be fitted with the new SP-32 fire-suppression system, which delivers up to 1,056 gallons per application. The Ansat-M is an upgraded version of the light twin that incorporates improvements including larger standard and auxiliary fuel tanks, an IFR cockpit, air conditioning, and new main and tail rotor blades that increase mtow to 8,378 pounds.