Russia and China will be developing a high altitude version of M-26 helicopter with a take-off weight of 38 tons that can be used on plateaus under thermal climate conditions, Chinese PLA military online reported citing Russian news sources.
The improved version will have a smaller capacity and take–off weight than those of the M-26 helicopters but will be equipped with M-26’s D-136 engine which makes it superior in terms of thrust-weight ratio and mobility.
"Russia and China will be signing a joint development project in two or three months and aerodynamic configuration and flight performance parameters of the helicopter would be determined by Feb 2015", Aleksandra Mikheyev, general manager of the Russian Helicopters, had said during the China- Zhuhai Air Show last November.
Russian news agency Interfax reported that the China’s need for smaller than M-26 helicopter which can traverse high altitude will be taken into consideration for the new helicopter.
M-26T is the largest and powerful helicopter which is used for civilian and military transport operations.