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Ansat entering commercial market

Su-30MKIThe first orders were placed for advanced Russian-made Ansat light multipurpose helicopters for Russian commercial aviation companies this year. This became feasible owing to the completion of the certification programme on a latest Ansat version made in several variants, equipped with a hydro-mechanical control system (HMCS) and lacking any restrictions on commercial operations.


The Ansat has been in production by Kazan Helicopters since 2004. The first six production-standard helicopters were delivered to South Korea, with five more to Russian buyers. All of them had the advanced KSU-A fly-by-wire (FBW) control system. The same system fits the Ansat-U twin-controls wheeled landing gear trainer helicopters that have been in production since 2009 for the Russian Defence Ministry.

Unfortunately, despite the obvious advantages, the FBW-equipped Ansat has been unable to win recognition on the commercial market, for it is ahead of its time: commercial helicopters with a FBW control system have never been certificated before, and even the basic requirements to this cutting-edge system have not been worked out in the world.

To facilitate the helicopter's hitting the market, therefore, a decision was taken to adjust the Ansat programme with account for the available requirements to the traditional hydro-mechanical control system. The installation of the latter did not result in a weight increase in the helicopter or in a change to its characteristics. Two prototypes of HMCS-equipped Ansat (PT-07 and PT-08) were made, being tested since 2011.

The certification of the hydro-mechanical control system-equipped transport version of the Ansat was complete in August 2013 and the passenger variant in December 2014, with the Interstate Aviation Committee Aviation Register having issued the relevant supplementary type certificates (Major Change Approvals). This May, the medevac version was certificated too. The emergence of the medevac variant finalised the development of the Ansat commonised multipurpose light helicopter certificated for both transport and medevac operations and passenger carriage. Ansat users will be able to transform its cabin in line with their requirements.

The launch customers for the certificated Ansat version furnished with the hydro-mechanical control system are Russian companies Tulpar Helicopters and Vector that ordered three and two aircraft of the type respectively. They placed their orders in May 2015 with the deliveries to start in 2016.

Published in Take-off magazine, November 2015.

(Photo: Ruslan Denisov)

 
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