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.

Mi-38 correct version

Russian Helicopters

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.