Russian Helicopters has begun flight testing its modernized Mi-171E. The manufacturer said Friday the aircraft flew with its new power plant and carrier system at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant.
"The Mi-171E helicopter equipped with a new carrier system [is able] to increase the maximum speed, increase the flight range [and] load capacity on the external suspension, and also make flights more reliable in the conditions of rarefied high-altitude air and high temperatures,” said managing director of the Ulan-Ude plant, Leonid Belykh. He added that the aircraft also features a new rotor blade shape and steering screws. “We hope that the modernized helicopter will interest both traditional buyers and attract new customers."
The Mi-171E has a new rotor and an X-shaped steering screw with blades made of polymer composite materials, Russian Helicopters said. The Russian-made VK-2500PS-03 engine offers full authority digital engine control, and the aircraft also features a modified stabilizer and keel beam. According to the manufacturer, the upgrade includes all smaller components and a digital anti-icing system for composite rotor blades of the carrier and steering screws.
Flight tests are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.