Russian Helicopters, a part of UIC Oboronprom, showcased its lineup at HELI-EXPO 2011 (stand 628) in Orlando, FL. The models on are potentially the most suitable and attractive for the North American market – the medium multi-role Mi-8/17, the coaxial Ka-32A11BC, the highly maneuverable light Mi-34C1, and the multi-role special ops (including operations in thin mountain atmosphere) Ka-226T.
“Russian Helicopters is strengthening existing partnerships in North and South America and looking for new contacts. This is the second time we’re exhibiting at HELI-EXPO and we’ve been seeing more interest towards Russian rotorcraft both from traditional operators from Latin American countries and North American commercial companies and individuals.” said Dmitry Petrov, CEO, Russian Helicopters.
Russian Mi-8/17 helicopters are among the most popular rotorcraft of this class in the world. Russian Helicopters is signing new contracts for the delivery of Mi-17 helicopters to Central and South America, CIS countries, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. This type is used worldwide for a wide variety of missions, thanks to its reliability in high humidity, dust, temperature, altitude, and its outstanding load capacity. For instance, Mi-17 helicopters were employed in rescue operations in New Orleans in 2005.
Russian Helicopters is continuing with the modernisation program for the Mi-17. The new Mi-171M will benefit from over 80 innovations. It will get a new power train and will be fitted with more powerful VK-2500 engines, an APU with launch altitude up to 6000 metres, a modernised main gearbox, swashplate, main rotor head, transmission, composite main rotor blades, X-shaped tail rotor. R&D and testing should be finished and certification of the new helicopter granted by end 2013.
Another popular Russian helicopter is the multi-role coaxial Ka-32A11BC. It has been issued airworthiness certificates in various countries of the American continent, Asia, and Europe. The Ka-32A11BC stuns with its important capabilities in firefighting, especially in mountainous terrain or top floors of tall buildings, using horizontal firefighting equipment. It is unsurpassed in situations when ground-based equipment is useless and high accuracy, stability, and maneuverability are needed in an unstable atmosphere. The helicopter is also widely used as a cargo transporter, carrying it externally, and a flying crane in high-rise construction.
In North America Ka-32A11BC helicopters are operated by Canadian companies for logging in difficult mountainous terrain and for other tasks. According to a number of experts, some parameters of this Russian helicopter make it one of the leading options for such difficult tasks. The Russian rotorcraft used in Canada are deemed very reliable: they have logged tens of thousands of hours without need for overhaul.
In Latin America, the Ka-32A11BC has been fighting fires in Chile and Mexico through several fire-hazardous seasons. For several years it has been employed in the development of the industrial infrastructure in Brazil and Peru; in 2000 these helicopters were employed in firefighting operations in Canada (Vancouver), and the USA (Idaho).
The modified version of the light Mi-34C1 displayed at HELI-EXPO is in its final development stages and the first public flight is scheduled for mid-2011. Russian Helicopters experts consider it a sure bestseller for helicopter sports: it is one of the few machines in its class capable of performing higher aerobatics.
Another light helicopter, the Ka-226T, is a special offer for the Latin American partners. This model with coaxial rotors is fitted with two turboshaft Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 and the Russian VR-226N gerabox. Such a layout has resulted in high flight safety: it is capable of maneuvering with one engine out, the other providing ample power (up to 705 hp).
The Ka-226T is a multi-role helicopter designed for special operations, including flights in thin mountain atmosphere. The Ka-226T is one of the best in its class for safety and emissions, which is especially important for the South American market, where the relic forests of the region pose additional challenges.
The creation of a global support network for Russian-made rotorcraft based on aftersale service centres is one of the key business directions for Russian Helicopters. Today, Russian Helicopters is open for cooperation and ready to start various joint projects with American partners.