HOWARD GETHIN / MOSCOW
EuroMil's Mi-38 medium utility helicopter made its first flight from Kazan Helicopters' airfield in central Russia on 22 December.
Two Mil test pilots conducted the initial 6min flight, followed by a second flight the next day. The latter was witnessed by Russia's deputy prime minister Boris Alyeshin and Russia's Aviation and Space Agency general director Yuri Koptev.
The Mi-38 can be used in a variety of roles, including offshore platform support, military medium lift, search and rescue, and medical evacuation. The passenger variant's cabin has 30 seats, a galley, a luggage compartment and a toilet. The transport variant will carry up to 6t of cargo inside the cabin or up to 8t underslung.
The helicopter, Kazan's flagship project, is a collaborative programme also involving the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, Eurocopter and Pratt & Whitney Canada, which supplies the twin 2,500hp (1,865kW) PW-127T/S engines. The helicopter has a maximum take-off weight of 15,600kg (34,500lb) and was designed in accordance with US FAR 29 and European JAR 29 standards.
The Mi-38 uses composite rotor blades, an X-type tail-rotor, triplex electric and hydraulic systems, and a digital standby autopilot with gauge data processing system. The cockpit is fitted with advanced avionics, including multifunction colour displays designed for a two-man crew. The aircraft also has a single pilot capability.
While the Mi-38 has no customer as yet, the Russian military is likely to have a requirement for the design to replace some of the hundreds of ageing Mi-8s and Mi-17s in service that are due for retirement.