The first group of third-year students at the Syzran campus of the Zhukovsky and Gagarin Air Force Academy’s Military Training Centre have completed training on new Ansat-U helicopters designed and built at Kazan Helicopters, a Russian Helicopters company (a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec). Previously Ansat-U helicopters were undergoing operation testing, and students were trained on Mi-2 helicopters.
Training on the Ansat-U was completed by 29 students, who next year will receive training on the Mi-8/17 series and Mi-24 helicopters.
The students made their debut flights at various heights and speeds and completed hovering exercises on an Ansat-U on 19 May under the guidance of experienced flight instructors who had mastered the aircraft during testing operations. Each student had to complete a minimum of 45 hours of training on the helicopter; on average the students made 130 flights each, and racked up 47 hours of flight time. In total, the group completed 1,390 hours of flying time.
Photo courtesy Russian Helicopters
On completion of the course a Kazan Helicopters delegation held a working meeting with squadron members who achieved outstanding results on the Ansat-U. During the meeting Air Force Lt. Col. Sergei Spiridonov, commander of the Aviation Training Group, gave a glowing review of the helicopter.
“The Ansat-U is a maneuverable and fast helicopter and one that is easy to pilot. Sensitive controls and an intuitive electronic display helped our students to master the aircraft in a short period of time and complete their flight training with flying colors”, said Sergei Spiridonov. “In November we expect delivery of another six Ansat-U helicopters to the Air Force training centre. Next year 57 students are expected to complete training on the Ansat-U helicopter, and about 300 students in 2016.”
“The Ansat with fly-by-wire controls is a model that is somewhat ahead of its time, and we faced challenges in applying this innovative technology to a commercial helicopter. To date no commercial helicopter with fly-by-wire controls had received certification anywhere in the world, so there was no precedent for its core requirements,” said Vadim Ligai, General Director of Kazan Helicopters and Deputy CEO of Russian Helicopters. “However, we worked closely with the Russian Defence Ministry and the flight corps of the Air Force, and both test-mode and regular operations of the Ansat-U have made a significant contribution to developing new technologies and to improving the fly-by-wire control system.”
The Ansat-U is a light helicopter designed for early-stage pilot training as well as training flight instructor staff. The helicopter has been developed by Kazan Helicopters with a classical single main rotor and tail rotor, and two turboshaft engines. The helicopter boasts a distinctive design including a hingeless fiberglass rotor head with elastic springs, torsion bars and a quadruple redundancy digital fly-by-wire control system. To make training of Air Force personnel easier, the helicopter is fitted with a wheeled undercarriage.
The helicopter has been in serial production since 2009 and is supplied to the Defence Ministry’s aviation training centre. In future it will completely replace the Mi-2, which is currently used for pilot training.