An agreement on the creation of an agricultural version of the Ka-226T helicopter was signed recently by Russian Helicopters (RH) and the Aerochemflot aviation alliance; the first deliveries of the new Ka-226T modification to customers are scheduled for 2025.
The Ka-226T agricultural version will eventually replace the An-2 aircraft, Mi-2 helicopters, as well as foreign-made light rotary-wing machines are used. This helicopter will receive Russian VK-650V engines, the delivery of prototypes of which is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2023.
"The need for such aircraft in Russia is quite high, we are working on the possibility of supplying up to 80 agricultural Ka-226Ts in 2025-2030,” according to a press release from Rostec, the holding company of RH.
The Ka226T's coaxial propeller system gives it advantages over other machines when operating over farmland. Its class-leading take-off weight and cargo capacity, besides an ability to turn almost from a stationary positon, which helps to spray chemicals more efficiently and safely.
This compact helicopter is capable of operating from small, unprepared sites, and its versatility will allow operators to avoid off-season downtime. If necessary, the aircraft can be easily converted into an ambulance, search and rescue, cargo or passenger rotorcraft.
The rich experience of using the Ka-26 helicopter in agriculture has shown that the coaxial layout and modular design provide significant advantages over other aircraft in this area.
“The characteristics of the helicopter will allow it to be used in a wide range of speeds, to operate i difficult terrain, such as steep vineyards. In addition, the powerful vortex flows created by the propellers of the Kamov machine will make it possible to carry out aerial chemical treatment as efficiently as possible,” said Klim Galiullin, head of the Aerochemflot alliance.