Russian Helicopters has started assembling the first pre-production prototype of Mi-171A3 offshore helicopter.
The helicopter is being built by Russian Helicopters and “National Helicopter Center” (NHC) - a joint venture between Mil and Kamov companies.
“Separate parts of the helicopter are already being assembled. The first rotorcraft for flights is to be assembled in early 2021 at Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant. Besides, in 2021 we plan to show the rotorcraft at MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon for the first time as one of the most recent key developments of Rostec," stated Rostec Aviation Cluster Industrial Director Anatoliy Serdyukov.
The main task of Mi-171A3 is servicing of offshore drilling rigs of companies in the fuel and energy sector. It is capable of transporting people and freight. To carry out search and rescue operations, the rotorcraft may be fitted with additional special complex comprising search capabilities, on-board hoists and medical equipment. A company which uses the helicopter can convert it into a search-and-rescue version at its own base.
"Unique solutions ensuring safety of flights over water have been developed for the first offshore helicopter in Russia. The helicopter's onboard equipment provides for navigation in high latitudes and communication with sea-going vessels. The helicopter has an emergency floatation system and life rafts. A special crash-resistant fuselage section has been developed for it,” Serdyukov added.
After being completely assembled, the helicopter will be transferred to NHC; the National Helicopter Center will add avionics to it. After that, a cycle of ground and flight tests will take place. Other enterprises of the holding company will also take an active part in helicopter production. Kazan Helicopters will make the helicopter's cargo floor, which has been made similar to that of Mi-38. Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company is making parts of composite materials for the nose and board panels for the middle part of the fuselage section.
"Expanding hydrocarbon production on the Arctic shelf requires a fleet of reliable and modern helicopters, which can be operated in the most difficult weather and climatic conditions," emphasized Director General of Russian Helicopters holding company Andrey Boginsky. "Starting from 2022, we will be ready to hand over the first serial helicopters to the launch customer."
Mi-171A3 is a multipurpose helicopter meeting the most modern Russian and international aviation standards, including IOGP requirements. The helicopter development started in 2018. The rotorcraft's maximum takeoff weight is 13,000 kg. It can carry up to 24 passengers and the maximum range is 1,000 km.
Mi-171AZ avionics will provide for automated and manual control of the helicopter at all stages of the flight, from takeoff to landing, and automatic piloting is possible for both air routes and non-regulatory airspace, irrespective of the degree of ground-based radio navigation.