Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
23 September 2014
KRET, Mil Helicopter, Russian Helicopters* and Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (*) lead contractor
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Description: The MIL Mi-8, dubbed Hip by NATO, is a twin-engine, multi-role, medium transport helicopter capable of transporting troops and equipment or conducting ground attack missions. Besides, the aircraft is also suitable for civilian operators related to a variety of transportation roles. The Mi-8 was developed in the late 1950s and 1960s by the Soviet Union, first flew on July 7, 1961, entering service in 1967. The five-bladed main rotor is driven by either two TV2-117 or TV3-117 turboshaft engines rated from 1,700-shp to 2,200-shp allowing a top speed of 230-250 kilometers per hour. In addition to its crew of two/three men, the standard Mi-8 can transport as many as 24/28 troops. The Mi-17 was the export designation for the Soviet Mi-8. The Mi-171 refers to the modern production standard introduced in 1991. The aircraft design and technologies evolved over 60 years with the current production standards (various models) being far more sophisticated and performant than early models. More than 12,000 Mi-8/17/171 helicopters of all models were produced or are in production for the Soviet Union, Russia and international customers. As of November 2013, roughly 2,400 Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopters remain in service worldwide. In January 2015 that figure had increased to 2,469 aircraft with several models remaining in production beyond 2020.
The Mi-171A2 is the civil market version of the Mi-171M military transport helicopter. Over 80 innovations are planned to be used on the Mi-171A2 helicopter achieving improved performance over previous Mi-8/17 models. The cost of flight hour on the highly affordable Mi-171A2 will be less than on the Mi-17/171 helicopters keeping a key advantage in the export market. Its service life will greatly increase as well as the time between overhauls (TBO) with future growth to make possible multifunctional test and control checks with modern on-ground maintenance equipment. The operating manuals will meet the best international standards. The first aircraft is expected to get airborne in 2014 and enter serial production with first customer deliveries in 2015.
The helicopter will be fitted with two more powerful VK-2500 engines than the current TV3-117 turboshafts, an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) with launch altitude up to 6,000 meters, a modernized main gearbox, swash plate, main rotor head, transmission, composite main rotor blades, and X-shaped tail rotor. The aircraft's crew will be brought down to two. The Mi-171A2 will be fitted with a digital autopilot in standard configuration, and will offer a glass cockpit as option. The range without additional fuel tanks will reach 850 km, the helicopter will carry up to 5,000 kg externally and fly at a higher cruise speed. The Mi-171A2 will be more stable in flight and will be able to hover at higher side wind speeds. It will have a -50 to +50 Celsius operating temperature range in all climate zones.
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