By S.L. Fuller | February 13, 2018
Russian Helicopters’ Mi-171E2 has flown for the first time, featuring a new power plant and a carrier system, the manufacturer said recently. The E2 is the Mi-17/171 family member that is meant for exportation to foreign government agencies.
"When we created the new machine, we took into account the specifics of the operation of the previously supplied U-UAZ helicopters in highland countries: China, Pakistan, Iran and Latin American states,” said Andrei Boginsky, general director Russian Helicopters. “The carrier system of the Mi-171E2 provides extended opportunities for using the helicopter at high altitudes at elevated temperature, so I'm sure that the machine will find wide application in the highlands and hot climate.”
The first flight tests confirmed that all basic flight performance characteristics were improved, Russian Helicopters said. Efficiency at high altitudes increased, as was carrying capacity, maximum and cruise speeds, climb rate, reserve of track control, and a reduction in the noise level from the carrier and steering screws.
Also shown during tests was a noticeable increase in the thrust of the main rotor. The manufacturer said this is a significant improvement in the handling and maneuverability of the helicopter and reserve of engine power in different flight regimes.
Altogether, a total of 45 test flights were performed, and the helicopter flew 50 hours, Russian Helicopters said.
Tests were conducted at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, which has received production approval to manufacture civilian helicopters: Mi-171, Mi-171A, Mi-8AMT and their modifications, including the Mi-171A2 helicopter.
The Mi-171A2 recently demonstrated that it could operate in temperatures as low as negative 58 deg F. That model, a utility variant, obtained a Russian type certificate August 2017 that allows delivery to commercial customers.