Looking beyond the current financial picture, the Russian aviation industry plans to increase helicopter production in the coming years, according to Andrei Reus, director general of Oboronprom. In fact, the Russian helicopter manufacturing industry aims to capture 15 percent of the world’s helicopter market by 2015.
“I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”–Sir Winston Churchill, radio speech, 1939.
As its civil Ansat light-twin helo nears Russian certification, Kazan helicopters has begun work on a military variant as part of a program funded by Russia’s defense ministry.
Russian rotorcraft maker Kazan primped its Ansat light-twin helicopter before representatives of operators from 20 countries during a company-wide open house held at the company factory last month.
Fly-by-wire flight controls are on the verge of making their debut in civil helicopters, decades after their introduction on fighters, airliners and, more recently, business jets. Eurocopter is investigating all-electric system architectures, including flight controls, hoping to have them in service in five to 10 years. In the U.S., Sikorsky has just flown a fly-by-wire H-92.
Russia and South Korea are negotiating for the South Korean navy to take some Kamov Ka-32 helicopters to settle part of a debt owed by Russia to the Asian country. The proposed deal is part of wider Korean military plans to acquire up to 30 Russian helicopters of various types through 2012.
In the face of what market forecasters predict will be nearly another full decade of flat civil helicopter sales, manufacturers have been loath to risk precious capital to develop models whose market reception would likely be less than enthusiastic. The result has been a handful of new designs, some riskier than others. Herein, the details…
Russian engine designer Klimov has revealed its first all-new helicopter turboshaft since the end of the Soviet era and said the powerplant will be aimed partly at re-engining helicopters powered by the ubiquitous Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6.
Exhibitors at January’s Iran Airshow 2005 indicated that the market for civilian helicopters in the Islamic Republic is growing. Local and foreign manufacturers and lessor companies reported a steady growth of the helicopter market.
LG International (LGI) this month is scheduled to open a new maintenance center for Russian helicopters at Seoul Gimpo Airport, with capacity for 24 major overhauls a year. Part of LG Group, LGI–which has 43 overseas offices and $18 billion in sales–focuses on Russian helicopters in South Korea.