KAZAN, Russia --- A Mil Mi-38T military transport helicopter manufactured at the Kazan Rotorcraft Factory made its debut flight under the program of preliminary trials, a TASS correspondent reported from the scene.
The helicopter’s debut flight was performed by test pilots of the Moscow-based Mil Rotorcraft Factory of Russian Helicopters Group (part of the state hi-tech corporation Rostec).
"The Mi-38T, which today performed its first flight, is the version, which the Group, the Factory and the Mil Design Bureau were making under a technical assignment approved by the Defense Ministry. This helicopter has been made on the basis of the civil rotorcraft whose production has been organized at the Kazan Rotorcraft Factory. This is the helicopter that has actually all the basic certificates of Rosaviatsiya [the Russian aviation watchdog]. This is a continuation and a possibility to enter a new market for us.
“This work is very important for the Group, both for the Design Bureau and the Factory, because this will help utilize the enterprise’s capacities, create jobs and ensure tax receipts in the region," Russian Helicopters Group CEO Andrei Boginsky told journalists.
By today, a contract has been signed for the delivery of two helicopters for the Defense Ministry. The first deliveries to the customer are planned to begin in 2019. Also, work is underway for promoting the new helicopter on foreign markets, the chief executive said.
"This opens prospects for work on the external market. This work with our colleagues from Rosoboronexport [state arms seller] has already begun. Jointly with them, we are offering this type of the helicopter for our foreign customers - the defense ministries of various countries," Boginsky said.
During joint special flight trials, all the systems and equipment of the Mi-38T helicopter will be checked for their compliance with the requirements of the technical assignment of Russia’s Defense Ministry. The helicopter has been developed on the basis of the certified Mi-38 civil helicopter and has been re-equipped to deal with transportation and troop landing tasks. The helicopter can also be reconfigured into an ambulance rotorcraft and supplied with additional fuel tanks for extending its flight range.
As Deputy Managing Director of the Kazan Rotorcraft Factory Vadim Ligai told journalists, the helicopter can take up to 40 passengers on its board. The rotorcraft is 99% made of domestic components.
Mi-38 helicopters are equipped with TV7-117V highly efficient engines produced by the Klimov United Engine-Making Corporation. The helicopter features an integrated digital pilot navigation system with data shown on five liquid crystal displays and an explosion-proof protected fuel system. Additional landing gear struts enable the helicopter to land on soft ground and snow.
The helicopter’s cabin is furnished with easily removable seats, detachable medical equipment and roller equipment for cargo transportation.
Mi-38 helicopters can be used for transporting cargoes and passengers, carrying out search and rescue operations and making VIP transportation in various climatic conditions, including the sea, tropical and cold climate. Specialized helicopters, including the Arctic version, are planned to be produced on the basis of the Mi-38T transport rotorcraft.