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MAKS 2011: Russian Helicopters relaunches Mi-34 production

17th August 2011 - 17:39 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Russian Helicopters plans to start serial production of its new Mi-34C1 in 2012, according to company representatives at the MAKS air show outside Moscow.

The holding company for Russian helicopter manufacturers made the modernised Mi-34C1 the focal point of its participation at the show, unveiling a prototype in military colours outside its exhibition as well as a civil version in the static display.

Russian Helicopters Mi-34 programme director Dmitry Rodin told Shephard the aircraft was being targeted at the military and civil training market and also had application as a light transport, surveillance and sport aircraft.

‘The first sphere is certainly training. If you are talking about military pilots, the Mi-34 is the only helicopter in its class that can provide the aerobatics needed to train in the full range of helicopter manoeuvres. For training pilots in combat operations, that’s very important,’ Rodin said.

The Russian Armed Forces are expected to receive large numbers of Mi-28N and Ka-52 attack helicopters between 2011 and 2018 under the new ‘State Armament Programme 2020’.

The four-seat aircraft, which is currently finalising flight testing at Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, features a four bladed main rotor, two bladed tail rotor and unretractable landing skids.

The power train is based on a 365hp M9VF radial piston engine and features a built-in gearbox and electronic ignition. The fuel system has negative g chambers for aerobatics, making the aircraft the only light helicopter capable of 3g performance, according to the company.

‘In addition to the pilot, the useful loading is around 400kg so the aircraft is quite capable and versatile,’ Rodin said.

The Mi-34C1 has a MTOW of 1,450kg, a service ceiling of 4,450m, a top speed of 220km/h and a cruise speed of 180km/h. Other new features include a French hydraulic system, a nose section made of composite materials, a revised interior, an added baggage compartment and hard points where a variety of specialist equipment, such as FLIR systems or search lights, could be fitted.

The original Mi-34C was abandoned in 2002 with only 22 examples built. Rodin said as well as giving the design team a starting point when developing the new version, basing the Mi-34C1 on the earlier aircraft meant it only needed supplemental certification, which was not expected to take as long as certifying a completely new aircraft.

‘Serial production will start next year and we have already sold all the aircraft for next year and 2013. We are still determining how many to produce per year but the minimal base will be around 20 per year and it will likely be a lot more than that,’ he explained.

Russian helicopter operator UTair has already announced an order for 10 aircraft and given the size of the company – UTair is continuously among the world’s top four civil helicopter operators by volume of operations and is the largest in Russia with a fleet of more than 250 helicopters of all types – Russian Helicopters will be hoping it adopts the Mi-34C1 for its training requirements. First deliveries are scheduled for September 2012.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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