MOSCOW --- Russian Helicopters holding company (part of Rostec State Corporation) started production of the first pre-production prototype of Mi-171A3 offshore helicopter. Flight tests of the state-of-the-art rotorcraft are to start on the summer of 2021.
The first Mi-171A3 offshore helicopter is being built by several plants forming part of Russian Helicopters which specialize in serial production, and JSC "National Helicopter Center Мil&Kamov" (NHC). They are working in close cooperation.
The main task of Mi-171A3 is servicing of offshore drilling rigs of companies in the fuel and energy sector. It is capable of transporting people, freight, and carrying out search and rescue operations if necessary – for that purpose, additional installation of a special complex comprising search capabilities, on-board hoists, and medical equipment is provided for. A company which uses the helicopter can convert it into a search-and-rescue version at its own base.
"Unique solutions ensuring safety of flights over water have been developed for the first offshore helicopter in Russia. The helicopter's onboard equipment provides for navigation in high latitudes and communication with sea-going vessels. The helicopter has an emergency floatation system and life rafts, and a special crash-resistant fuselage section has been developed for it. Separate parts of the helicopter are already being assembled. The first rotorcraft for flights is to be assembled in early 2021 at Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant. Besides, in 2021 we plan to show the rotorcraft at MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon for the first time as one of the most recent key developments of Rostec," stated Rostec Aviation Cluster Industrial Director Anatoliy Serdyukov.
After being completely assembled, the helicopter will be transferred to NHC; the National Helicopter Center will add avionics to it. After that, a cycle of ground and flight tests will take place. Other enterprises of the holding company will also take an active part in helicopter production. Kazan Helicopters will make the helicopter's cargo floor, which has been made similar to that of Mi-38. Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company is making parts of composite materials for the nose and board panels for the middle part of the fuselage section.
"Mi-171A3 is very much sought-after for offshore operations. The rotorcraft has been created as a result of cooperation among Rostec holding companies. Expanding hydrocarbon production on the Arctic shelf requires a fleet of reliable and modern helicopters, which can be operated in the most difficult weather and climatic conditions," emphasized Director General of Russian Helicopters holding company Andrey Boginsky. "Starting from 2022, we will be ready to hand over the first serial helicopters to the launch customer."
Mi-171A3 is a multipurpose helicopter meeting the most modern Russian and international aviation standards, including IOGP requirements. The helicopter development started in 2018. The rotorcraft's maximum takeoff weight is 13,000 kg. It can carry up to 24 passengers, and the maximum range is 1,000 km.
The helicopter is intended for operation in various climatic conditions, including maritime, tropical and cold climate, with ambient temperatures ranging between -50 С and +50 С. Mi-171AZ avionics will provide for automated and manual control of the helicopter at all stages of the flight, from takeoff to landing, and automatic piloting is possible for both air routes and non-regulatory airspace, irrespective of the degree of ground-based radio navigation.