Russian Helicopters has announced plans to test the Mil 171A2 medium multirole helicopter in extremely cold weather conditions. Two aircraft will be flown in Yakutia, where temperatures hit as low as -50C in winter.
A total of 20 flights are to be performed during the planned one-month experiment. The aircraft’s anti-icing and heating systems will be tested, as will be its weather-sensitive equipment.
The Mi-171A2 got its type certificate in August 2017. UTair – Helicopter Services is the launch customer, with the first two airframes to be delivered in spring 2018. The operator signed an agreement with Russian Helicopters to jointly promote the aircraft on the Russian market.
Indian and Kazakh operators signed up in 2017, with more hot-and-high customers expected to follow.
Work is under way to produce an offshore version, including for Arctic operations. A VIP variant is expected to hit the market in late 2018.
Structurally, the Mi-171A2 has over 80 different improvements as compared to the baseline. It is fitted with VK-2500PS-03 engines and has an upgraded rotor system.
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