European regulators have certificated a new variant of a Pratt & Whitney Canada helicopter engine, but thanks to continued sanctions against Russia, the approval is almost meaningless.
Updating the type certification documents for the PW207, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) revealed it had validated the K-model variant on 8 August.
Although the engine series powers multiple rotorcraft types, the PW207K had a single application: powering the Russian-built Kazan Ansat light-twin.
Cirium fleets data reveals that over 100 PW207K-equipped Ansats had been delivered since the start of production, a process halted by the sanctions imposed on Russia’s aerospace industry earlier this year in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Manufacturer Russian Helicopters had planned to market Ansat-M, the latest variant of the 3.6t type, in Europe as a rugged utility platform.
Speaking to FlightGlobal last year, then-director general Andrey Boginsky said he saw a strong opportunity to sell the Ansat-M in the west once development was completed.
The helicopter would provide “an opportunity” to take the competition to Airbus and Leonardo Helicopters on their home turf; in the Russian market his two European rivals “come here and communicate with our customers – we should have such an opportunity too”, he said.
Gaining EASA approval for the engine was a key precursor to that marketing effort. P&WC confirms the 8 August update was “the completion of the certification process for the PW207K helicopter engine that began before the sanctions were imposed.
“At this time, there are no other applications being considered for the PW207K,” it adds.
The sanctions have killed any hope – certainly in the medium term – of securing business in the bloc. Type certification for the only Russian-built helicopter to be approved by EASA – the Kamov Ka-32 – was suspended in March.
Russian Helicopters intends to replace the PW207K with the 650shp (485kW)-rated Klimov VK-650V, a domestically built engine. Certification of the new powerplant had been scheduled for 2023 but it is unclear if that timeline still holds.