Russian Helicopters and United Engine Corporation (UEC), subsidiaries of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec, announce the successful start of testing of the third prototype Mi-38 helicopter fitted with Russian-built TV7-117V engines. The new engines have been specially developed for the new transport and passenger helicopter by Klimov, a UEC company.
The third prototype of the Mi-38 made its first flight on 29 November 2013. As part of its testing plan, the Mi-38 completed a circuit of the flight-testing centre of Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, the Russian Helicopters company that developed the helicopter, at the National Helicopter Development Centre in the Moscow region town of Tomilino. The Mi-38 with new Russian-built TV7-117V engines first took to the skies on 13 November when it completed testing in hover mode.
The positive test results open the way for a swift transition to the start of in-house certification tests to Russian AP-29 standards.
"The Mi-38's first flight is the successful result of collaboration between Russian helicopter constructors and engine-builders. The Mi-38 represents a new generation of helicopters that provide the highest standards of safety and comfort," said Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev. "Thanks to its TV7-117V engines, the Mi-38 has a significantly broader range of potential applications, which will give it an additional competitive edge and make the helicopter even more attractive to both existing and new customers."
"The creation of the TV7-117V engines is one of UEC's core projects," said UEC CEO Vladislav Masalov. "The new engines deliver increased power and fuel efficiency. Construction of a test batch of the TV7-117Vs will begin shortly for certification testing, which is planned for the end of 2014."
The new turboshaft TV7-117Vs generate thrust of 2,500-3,000 hp and are based on the TV7-117 turboprop engine, with which they are more than 90% compatible. The TV7-117V improves safety by making emergency power of 2,800-3,750 hp available when necessary. The engine features a new FADEC system using the BARK-12 or BARK-57 electronic engine control unit.
The use of the TV7-117Vs on the pre-production Mi-38 is the result of successful work by the experimental design group, most notably in developing a connecting unit between the main rotor gearbox and the engine, optimising the cooling systems for the engine and main gearbox, and improving the automatic engine management system.
The multirole Mi-38 can be used for cargo, passenger and VIP transport, and can also serve as a flying hospital and for offshore operations.
Thanks to its spacious cabin, low levels of noise and vibration, and numerous innovative features, the Mi-38 offers the highest levels of comfort of any machine in its class. Other competitive advantages include high cruising speed of 295 km/h and range of 1,200 km. In addition, the Mi-38 surpasses other helicopters in its class in terms of cargo-lift, passenger capacity and other flight capabilities.
The second prototype Mi-38 fitted with Pratt & Whitney Canada Engines completed its first flight on 24 December 2010, and has produced outstanding results during extensive testing in 2012-2013. At the 14th FAI World Helicopter Championship (held on 22-26 August 2012 near Moscow) the helicopter set a new altitude record in the E-1h category (the FAI category for helicopters between 10,000 kg and 20,000 kg), climbing to more than 8,600 m.
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