Russian Helicopters has flown the third Mil Mi-38 prototype – the first to be powered by Klimov TV7-117V engines.
The twin-engined utility transport helicopter took to the skies for the first time on 29 November, performing a circuit of Mil’s Tomilino-based helicopter plant, near Moscow.
Russian Helicopters says it is now ready to accelerate certification testing of the 15.6t aircraft, which is earmarked for approval in 2015. Development had been held up by delays to the Klimov engine. The first two prototypes were powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127/TS turboshafts – this version will be offered alongside the TV7.
The Mi-38 fills a niche on Mil’s product line between the 36-passenger Mi-17 and the 82-passenger heavylift Mi-26. The aircraft is designed to carry up to 40 passengers and has a payload of 6t carried internally or by sling.