Russian Helicopters and Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET), both part of State Corporation Rostec, have started testing the Mi-171A2 helicopter kitted out with the KBO-17 on-board avionics suite. Hovering tests will take places at the National Helicopter Building Centre in the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant flight-test complex. KBO-17 avionics have been fitted to the first test model of the Mi-171A2, which was presented at the International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS) in Zhukovsky in 2013.
The KBO-17 avionics suite was developed at the Ulyanovsk Instrument Manufacturing Design Bureau (part of KRET). The KBO-17 suite allows for safe operations at any time of day or night, even in adverse weather conditions. For additional flight safety, the Mi-171A2 is fitted out with GPS/GLONASS satellite system displays, mapping, flight-plan navigation systems (VOR/ILS), meteorological information and automated obstacle warning systems (alerting crew to power lines, masts, isolated trees etc.). The KBO-17 suite can be enhanced with the KOC-17 day/night vision system.
Mi-171A2 cockpit. Photo courtesy Russian Helicopters
The KBO-17 boasts a 'glass cockpit' piloting and navigation system equipped with five LCD displays. The displays show the most important information at each stage of the flight, allowing the flight crew to fully evaluate the helicopter's operation and navigation. The helicopter is also fitted with an on-board equipment maintenance system, which means it can operate without in-flight engineers, reducing the number of crew required to two – without any reduction in safety.
Two helicopters are currently undergoing tests on the Mi-171A2 program: the 'flying laboratory' built on the basis of the serial-produced Mi-8/17 helicopter, and the first prototype model of the Mi-171A2. Work on the second prototype is underway at the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, and once complete it will join the other two models for tests. In addition, two frames of the Mi-171A2 will undergo static and fatigue testing. Russian Helicopters expects work for Mi-171A2 certification to be completed in 2015.