Russian Helicopters Mi-38 nears final certification tests
Nov. 13, 2014, Moscow, Rus. - Russian Helicopters has launched the final stage of certification testing on the Mi-38 multirole helicopter. Testing is being carried out on two prototype models of the helicopter fitted with Russian TV7-117V engines.
By Carey Fredericks
On November 3, Russian Helicopters' Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant received the fourth prototype of the Mi-38 in order to continue certification flight testing. The helicopter is built at Kazan Helicopters, also a Russian Helicopters company. On October 20, it successfully completed a series of hover tests and low-speed ground runs, after which it was transported overland to the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant.
For further flight tests, the fourth Mi-38 prototype will be fitted with the full suite of on-board data acquisition systems. Starting flight tests on the forth prototype boosts progress towards the Mi-38's certification – which is scheduled for 2015.
The fourth Mi-38 prototype is a pre-series model, comprising all the systems and components that would be installed on the series-produced helicopters of this type. It differs from the third prototype in its shock-resistant fuel system, which meets the latest emergency landing fire safety requirements. It also boasts larger windows that serve as additional emergency exits.
On 31 October, Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant launched the second phase of flight tests on the third Mi-38 prototype. On conclusion of the first phase of flight-development testing, the third Mi-38 prototype was re-equipped with TV7-117 engines at the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant assembly shop. The second phase of plant certification tests will run until the end of the year, and will see work completed under the state contract with the Russian Federation's Ministry of Industry and Trade for 2014.
The Mi-38 is a medium-lift multirole helicopter, designed at the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant in accordance with AP-29 aircraft certification requirements. It is equipped with highly efficient Russian-made TV7-117 engines and an integrated digital flight navigation system with five LCD displays.
The Mi-38 is one of the most highly automated commercial aircraft in the world. The avionics suite makes it possible to complete route flights, landings, hover, and stabilize in any flight mode. Its IBKO-38 integrated avionics suite provides the crew with high-volume, high-quality data, ensuring high flight-safety levels.
The helicopter's current capabilities, combined with the streamlined maintenance processes, make the Mi-38 very promising for regional aviation and the execution of certain objectives for commercial operators. Its independence from any base, the efficiency and resources offered by its systems and components, mean that the Mi-38 is more economically viable than the small aircraft planes currently operated in Russia.