Turbine helicopter launch the goal for Quest
Nov. 15, 2011, Dubai, U.A.E. - Quest Helicopters, a privately-owned company, headquartered in Dubai, UAE, is planning to fund, develop, define and refine new technology for a family of new light twin engine and twin rotor system helicopters.
By Carey Fredericks
Originally Dubbed “Project Q,” the Quest AVQ series will be the first civil helicopters to be assembled and manufactured in Umm Al Quwain in the UAE and will incorporate a number of innovative features, including a unique passenger and crew safety system. Quest has found a suitable plot of land in Umm Al Quwain, UAE where it will build a comprehensive assembly and production facility in the UAE, as it aims to commence initial production in 2014.
These “clean sheet” prototype helicopters, have been designed by Volodymyr Udovenko and will feature a new series of engines with FADEC built in the Ukraine. The long life airframes have been engineered for robust operations, and feature a raft of ‘cutting edge’ technologies. These include an all-new primary “fly-by-wire” control system, a distinctive eject-able crew and passenger safety capsule cabin and a “telemetry downlink” maintenance monitoring system.
The UAE principals and investors in Quest Helicopters, a subsidiary of Quest Investments, have pledged an initial investment of up to US$50 million in the initial programme. Quest’s investment lends support to further develop the expertise of design bureau chief, Vlodomyr Udovenko, overseen by the Ukraine’s Academy of science and technology. Quest’s project is expected to generate new jobs in the UAE from the end of 2012. Collaboration on the project has been further bolstered by a proposed bilateral agreement between EASA and the Ukraine’s Civil Aviation Authority enabling the new helicopters to be built with joint cooperation and a parallel certification program. The helicopters will be powered by new technology engines from aviation manufacturers Progress DB/ Motor sich Ukraine, 2 x AI-450 M turbines with FADEC, delivering up to 465 shaft horse power (shp) per engine.
Additionally, Quest Investments, a subsidiary of the Quest Group has recently signed an MOU between Ukraine’s Academy of Science and Abu Dhabi’s Higher College of Technology and Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training, to invest and develop specialist research into health, climate & other technological advancements.
The initial four-seat model, which is highly competitively priced at US$2.95 million will have a range of 435 nm (700 kms), a maximum speed of 185 mph (295 kph), and a maximum endurance of 3.6 hours. The Helicopters’ maximum take-off weight will be 4,960lbs (2,250 kgs) and empty weight will be 1,300 kgs.