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10:24 AM, May 21, 2018
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M-171A2 multi-role helicopter first flight (Image: Russian Helicopters)

Russian Helicopters has carried out the maiden flight of its first multi-role M-171A2 helicopter and will deliver it to UTair-Helicopter Services for experimental operation in polar-regions.

"It's a brand new machine, with advanced digital technologies on board and entirely different performance characteristics. Potential buyers first of all include the countries using its predecessors – Mi-8/17. Now we are negotiating the certification of Mi-171A2 in Latin America. Some interest is also being taken by Asian, African, former Soviet Union countries," Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov said Monday.

Mi-171A2 is the first helicopter created with the use of advanced digital technologies and put to production with a partial transition to electronic design documentation. Parts making on numerical control machines with the use of mathematical models have cut the process time, the company said.

There are about 80 modifications in the Mi-171A2 design. The helicopter is equipped with the VK-2500PS-03 engines with the digital control system. The helicopter has a X-type anti-torque rotor and a new main rotor with all-composite blades with airfoil shape. Thus, the thrust of the Mi-171A2 main rotor increases by more than 700 kg.

In prospect, it is planned to commission a Mi-171A2 simulator on partially movable platform for training of flight personnel. Cruise and maximum speed indicators of Mi-171A2 have increased by 10% relating to production helicopters Mi-8/17. The helicopter may be used around the clock, in highland conditions, at low and high temperatures, high humidity and overwater.

The digital avionics set KBO-17 ("glass cabin"), including the navigation instrumentation and the system of general helicopter equipment with display data indication, allowed the company to reduce the crew to only two people.

The cabin ergonomics have also changed due to redistribution of flight engineer functions to commander and co-pilot. Video cameras have increased the flight safety by improving the vision of external environment, including rear and lower hemispheres.

In August 2017, the helicopter was certified by the Federal Air Transport Agency of the Russian Federation according to Category A providing for meeting the most stringent requirements to flight safety specified for civilian helicopters.

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