A Sino-Russian effort to develop a new advanced heavy helicopter was discussed during the recent visit to Shanghai by a Russian delegation headed by President Putin. According to Russian Helicopters general director Alexander Mikeyev, his company has been discussing the project with China’s Avicopter since 2008. “The main parameters of the project have been agreed on. But the work is not yet complete,” he said.
In an end-of-year statement, Russian Helicopters confirmed that the Mil Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopter has finally been accepted into service. The company also listed deliveries for 2013.
Russian Helicopters has delivered an Mi-26T to Kazakhstan’s Emergencies Ministry. It is the first of the type–capable of carrying a 44,000-pound payload–to enter service in the country. The helicopter was delivered after an overhaul and modifications at a repair facility in Novosibirsk, Russia. Kazakhstan has commissioned Russian Helicopters to overhaul and modify two Mi-26 military helicopters, which had previously been in storage for 20 years. They will be used for diverse operations, including fire fighting and evacuations, the manufacturer said.
A UTAir crew will be honored on Monday with the Sikorsky Humanitarian Award for rescuing UN peacekeepers from enemy fire in the Congo. The honor is “presented to the person(s) who best demonstrate(s) the value of helicopters to society by saving lives, protecting property and aiding those in distress.”
According to a Russian source, UTAir has partially resumed Mil Mi-26T flights. On December 20, the operator grounded its fleet of heavy twins for tail-boom inspections after a fatal accident in the Khanty Mansi region–one of UTair’s Mi-26 heavy twins landed hard, rolled and caught fire, killing one crewmember and injuring the other five. There were no passengers aboard.
Russia-based UTAir Aviation has not yet resumed Mil Mi-26T operations after they were suspended on December 20 following a fatal accident. On that day, one of the airline’s Mi-26 heavy twins landed hard, rolled and caught fire 135 nm south of Surgut in the Khanty Mansi autonomous region. One crewmember was killed, while the other five were injured. There were no passengers aboard. The company immediately announced fleet-wide inspections that were to be completed “in just a few days” before any further flying.
The Mil Mi-26T2 upgrade made its debut at the Moscow Air Show (MAKS 2011), demonstrating its higher power-weight ratio and better handing characteristics in the flight display.
Russia “hearts” helicopters. That was the message from the Moscow-based Helicopter Industry Association of Russia (HIAR) at its press conference at Heli-Expo 2011 yesterday.
Four of Russia’s leading helicopter operators: UTair, Vertical-T, Pahn Helicopters and Aviashelf provided proof with a snapshot of their operations, opportunities and challenges.
In November Russian Helicopters delivered a Mi-26TC heavy twin, manufactured by Rostvertol, to Hong-Kong-based import firm Lectern Aviation Supplies. The aircraft, expected to be used for firefighting, is the third Mi-26TC sold by Rostvertol in China; a contract for another is under negotiation, Russian Helicopters said.
Nobody beats the Russians when it comes to rotorcraft “bigness.” Mil unveiled the Mi-12 in 1971 and later hoisted a record-setting 44 tons to more than 7,000 ft with the massive (115-ton mtow) twin-rotor helo.
More recently, since its introduction in 1981, the Russian-made Mil Mi-26 has reigned supreme as the heaviest cargo-lifting production rotorcraft, routinely hoisting loads weighing up to 22 tons.
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