FARNBOROUGH 2008: Hidden gems at Russian Helicopters

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Blink and you’ll miss three new concepts in helicopter design. Russian Helicopters has a full array of models in its range, with a new concept of UAV and two high-speed variants of its celebrated Mil and Kamov ranges.

The first, the Mi-X1 is an advanced conceptual project that is looking to increase the speed of its helicopters from 300kmh up to more than 500kmh. The company says it is also looking to engineer increased flight range of up to 1,500km in order to service offshore oil-platforms or other distant or difficult-to-reach locations. Mi-X1 is a civilian export product, though a lightweight military model is likely to be produced for the Russian armed forces.

Increases in speed will apparently be achieved by the use of a vectored thrust pusher propeller and a revised design that delays the stall at the root of the retreating blade. The concept also includes a ducted tail propeller with thrust vectoring for anti-torque control.

A similar high-speed model, the Ka-92, also combines coaxial main rotors and a tail thrust propeller. Moving into the UAV market, a multi-purpose robot-helicopter has also been designed.