Russian helicopter operator and dealer Uralhelicom, has delivered seven aircraft to its clients so far this year. These included four light single-engine Robinsons, a single-engine Leonardo AW119, as well as one each of Airbus Helicopters’ twin-engine EC145 and single-engine H125.
A Uralhelicom representative told Russian Aviation Insider that the two Robinson models most popular in Russia, the turboshaft-powered R66 and the piston-powered R44, have been selling at a roughly similar rate. The company has delivered two of each model since the beginning of the year. Uralhelicom expects the demand for the R66 to rise in the future.
Four R66s are currently operated commercially in Russia: two by AltaiAvia and one each by KrasAvia and Heliport-M. The number of Russian commercial certificates issued for the R44 stands at 15: 11 of the type are operated by Barkol, three by UTair Helicopter Services, and one by Сonvers Avia. “The R44 is used in commercial aviation because of its low operating cost,” the Uralhelicom representative said. “Designed for maximum practicability, the R44 offers baggage compartments underneath the passenger seats, an increased power reserve at high altitudes, and an excellent time between overhauls at 2,200 hours.” The model is evidently more popular in Russia at the moment than the R66: there are 34 examples of the former in operation against just eight of the latter.
Uralhelicom says overall demand for helicopters is growing in Russia, although more so for pre-owned aircraft than factory-new ones. The company’s own fleet comprises R44s, R66s, and EC130 B4s. Uralhelicom holds maintenance certificates for the two Robinson models, as well as for the H120/H125/H130. It has overhauled more than 20 R44s since first offering the service in December 2010. “There are also [Robinsons] that have clocked over 4,400 hours flying and have already undergone two overhauls,” the representative commented. Uralhelicom is planning to obtain maintenance approvals for the H145 and the AW119 this year.
Uralhelicom is a Russian certified dealer representing Robinson Helicopters and a service center for Airbus Helicopters. It is headquartered in Yekaterinburg and operates a maintenance arm at Zhukovsky airport outside Moscow. The company also runs a network of local helicopter parts distribution officers in major Russian cities.
By Tatyana Volodina
Russian Aviation Insider
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