The new CEO of Russian Helicopters, Dmitry Petrov, took time out of his busy schedule on Sunday to sit down with Rotor & Wing and explain his organization’s reasons for attending the tradeshow. Like most other exhibitors and visitors, Petrov leads a team that is looking for answers—either to confirm that their view of the world is the right one, or gain intelligence to put them on the right course.
“In recent years we have been working closely with operators to improve our aftermarket sales and support service and to evaluate existing and potentially new customer requirements for new aircraft,” he said.
Petrov likened Heli-Expo to ‘the fashion center for the helicopter industry’ and “by attending this we can gauge where we are and where we need to be.” Petrov said that the attendance of Russian Helicopters at Heli-Expo was no so much one that was aimed at signing orders, but ‘to verify our strategic vision and to ascertain whether the development of the Russian helicopter industry is in line with the international market.”
According to Petrov, the task of uniting OEMs, component and systems manufacturers had been a goal that was now becoming a reality.
The three aircraft that Russian Helicopters are keen to promote to western operators are the Kamov Ka-32A11BC, which already has certification in various locations around the world; the Mil Mi-8/17 series (particularly the modernized M-171M); and the Mil Mi-34S (sport model).
Since Heli-Expo is international, Russian Helicopters is looking at other key players as well as American companies. Asked about potential markets outside of the U.S., he noted the development of new markets in India and China and confirmed that the company would ‘like a share’ too.
On the issue of certifying helicopters for markets, Petrov said that a sufficient number of customer orders and soft contracts would trigger the launch of the certification process.
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