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Mi-26T2 deliveries beginning

Su-30MKIThis summer, Russian Helicopters launched the delivery of advanced Mil Mi-26T2 heavy-lift helicopters, which full-scale production was launched by one of the holding company's subsidiaries, Rostvertol. The first two aircraft of the type were shipped to a foreign customer.


The key feature setting the Mi-26T2 apart from the production-standard Mi-26 and Mi-26T/TC is its advanced digital avionics suite allowing a crew reduction from four to two (from five to three in case the external sling is used), while increasing reliability, safety, stability, controllability and hover precision that is especially important when using the external hoist.

The upgraded Mi-26T2's BREO-26 avionics suite is wrapped around the NPK-90-2 flight navigation system comprising the digital display system that has ousted the legacy 'clock-type' instruments. It also includes control panels, a digital computer, a satellite navigation system and a digital flight control system. In addition, the avionics suite includes an up-to-date integrated communications system and a flight recorder system.

Like the baseline model, the Mi-26T2 can haul outsize cargo and hardware with a total weight of 20 t in the cabin and under belly. The military transport version carries 82 troops and the casevac up to 60 casualties. Its can conduct building and assembly work varying in complexity, suppress fires, quickly haul fuel and refuel vehicles on the ground, and do other things.

The advanced solutions introduced under the Mi-26T2 programme had been tested on a prototype helicopter flight-tested since 2011. Now, it is equipped with the latest defence aids suite and was demonstrated in such configuration at the recent MAKS 2015 air show.

According to last year's annual report of Rostvertol, the first export contract for six Mi-26T2s for a Middle East/North African nation was signed in June 2013. Rostvertol made the first two aircraft under the contract in late 2014. One of them first flew in December 2014; the other in February 2015. Following their tests, both were used for training the flying and ground crews of the customer and then were delivered in early June 2015. Meanwhile, the manufacturer in Rostov-on-Don built two more production-standard Mi-26T2s during June and July this year and submitted them for trials. The machines are to be shipped to the customer before year-end, with two aircraft more to follow suit in 2016. According to the Interfax-AVN news agency, the customer is intent on buying eight helicopters more, once he has received the six Mi-26T2s.

Published in Take-off magazine, November 2015.

(Photo: Alexey Mikheyev)

 
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