Approval Granted for Russian Mi-171A2 Helicopters to Operate at High Altitudes

Mi-171A2 Achieves Federal Air Transport Agency Approval for High-Altitude Operations
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  • 07:07 AM, December 19, 2023
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Approval Granted for Russian Mi-171A2 Helicopters to Operate at High Altitudes
Mi-171A2 helicopter

The Mil and Kamov National Helicopter Manufacturing Center, under the Russian Helicopters holding company of the Rostec State Corporation, has received approval from the Federal Air Transport Agency for the operation of Mi-171A2 helicopters from airfields and runways situated at altitudes of up to 5,000 meters above sea level.

The approval follows comprehensive testing that affirmed the Mi-171A2's high reliability, safety, and capability to function in extreme mountainous conditions. The corresponding amendment has been made to the type certificate.

During additional certification tests, the Mi-171A2 helicopter underwent multiple flights in the mountainous regions of Kabardino-Balkaria and the foothills of Elbrus. The aircraft's load was gradually increased during these tests, reaching the maximum permissible take-off weight of 13 tons. Throughout these variations, the flights proceeded without incident.

The Rostec aviation cluster noted, "The Mi-171A2 helicopter has a high level of reliability, safety, and comfort. Expanding the machine’s capabilities will certainly attract new customers both in Russia and abroad."

Testers from the National Center for Helicopter Engineering, named after M.L. Mil and N.I. Kamov of the Russian Helicopters holding company, rigorously evaluated the performance of engines, auxiliary power units, oxygen equipment, flight navigation systems, and other essential helicopter systems in high-altitude conditions. Assessments included thrust reserve during takeoff and landing in rarefied air conditions, controllability, stability, maneuverability, and rate of climb at various altitudes.

At a high-altitude site, the Mi-171A2 underwent testing that simulated emergency situations. The helicopter demonstrated the safety of landing and takeoff during simulated engine failure—an intricate maneuver in thin mountain air conditions requiring sufficient engine power reserve and an efficient supporting system.

Certified under category “A,” the Mi-171A2 adheres to the most stringent flight safety standards. The helicopter features a new generation rotor with composite blades and an X-shaped tail rotor. Equipped with VK-2500PS-03 engines and a BARK digital automatic control system, the Mi-171A2 maintains optimal power range, especially in high mountains and areas with hot and maritime climates.

The helicopter's domestic flight navigation system with data display, also known as the "glass cockpit," ensures flights in challenging weather conditions. This latest avionics technology reduces pilot workload and allows for a crew of two people.

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