Russia’s Rostec has commenced developing a new engine, VK-650V, to replace the Turbomeca (Safran) Arrius 2G1 in its KA-226T multi-purpose helicopter.
Rostec, the holding company of Russian Helicopters announced today, “VK-650V engine, which will replace imported power plants for Ka-226T helicopters, has been assembled and installed on a test bench at the UEC-Klimov. Its preparation for engineering tests is nearing completion.”
U.S. and European Union defence and dual-use products export to Russia have been barred under sanctions. This move blocks previously agreed deals for use of Western parts and equipment in Russian defense products.
The new engine has a take-off power of 650 hp. It can also power Ansat-U, VRT-500 and foreign helicopters of the same payload class. Based on the results of the upcoming tests, the engine design will be fine-tuned. In future, the power plant will also be adapted for use in drones and light aircraft.
It is planned to be certified in 2023; and by 2024, serial production of the engine will begin.
The test bench includes a new power frame and a hydraulic brake, a fuel-oil system specially designed for the size of the VK-650V engine, and a modern control room.
“The test bench was created in a very short time, a large cooperation of the UEC and Rostec enterprises is involved in the project. The task is to make a simple and reliable unit in operation, having an optimal combination of power characteristics, weight and dimensions, fuel consumption and price. We plan to manufacture prototypes in 2021–2022, and in 2023 to receive a certificate for this engine, and then start mass production,” said Yury Shmotin, Deputy General Director - General Designer of UEC.
The VK-650V is being developed by V.V. Chernysheva, UEC-UMPO, Salyut Production Complex and KEMZ, which are part of Rostec State Corporation.
Russia inked a deal with Turbomeca for Arrius 2G1 engines for Ka-226T twin-engine helicopter with double counter-rotating rotor way back in 2009. This new variant is actually a derivative engine from Arrius 2, which was qualified over 20 years ago.
Certified in November 2011, the Arrius 2G1 is capable of a take-off power of 720 shp and a cruise power of 610 shp. Maximum power available via the emergency One Engine Inoperative (OEI) rating is 792 shp. The Arrius 2G1 is equipped with a Full Authority Digital Engine Control system (FADEC) and an overspeed protection system. Time Between Overhaul (TBO) is 3,000 hours.