Berlin, Germany/08 June 2010 – The project for the development and initiation of serial production of the Mi-171M was launched in 2009. It is planned that all test and design, flight testing and certification activities will be over by the end of 2012 and serial production will start at Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, a part of Russian Helicopters industry holding, in 2013.
The Mi-171M is based on the Mi-171 and should eventually replace the Mi-8/17. Over 80 innovations are planned to be used on the helicopter. The Mi-171M will have a new power train. It will be fitted with more powerful VK-2500 engines, an APU with launch altitude up to 6000 metres, a modernised main gearbox, swashplate, main rotor head, transmission, composite main rotor blades, X-shaped tail rotor. It is planned to bring the crew count down to 2. The helicopter will be fitted with a digital autopilot in standard configuration, and will offer a glass cockpit option. A lot of changes will be made to units and equipment.
The Mi-171M will have improved performance. Estimates say that range without additional fuel tanks will reach 850 km, the helicopter will carry up to 5000 kg externally and fly at a higher cruise speed. The Mi-171M will be more stable in flight and will be able to hover at higher side wind speeds. It will have a -50 to +50°Ñ operating temperature in all climate zones.
The way it is operated will also change. It is planned to greatly increase its service life and time between overhauls, and in the future operation according to technical condition may be introduced. Multifunctional test and control apparatus and modern on-ground maintenance equipment will be used to service the helicopter, and its operating manuals will be to best international standards. One of the priorities for Russian Helicopters is to keep the key advantage of the Mi-8/17 family for the Mi-171M, which is a reasonable price. It is expected a flight hour will cost less on the Mi-171M than on the Mi-17/171.
The Mi-171M will be certified according to AP-29 norms, and it is planned to certify the helicopter abroad, where high demand is forecast. It is expected that the first test prototype of the Mi-171M will be manufactured by Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant in 2011.