Iran Helicopter Support & Renewal (IHSRC) is planning to finalise the design of its 287 light helicopter next year.
IHSRC deputy managing director commercial and international affairs Abdollah Kheirollahi says the 287 is a four-seat, single-engine machine that has been flyingfor around three years, with the highest-time machine having amassed a total of 200h.
Three prototypes have been built using an "engine, airframe, rotor and dynamic system produced by ourselves", says Kheirollahi, adding that the company also wishes to develop itsown avionics.
The Iranian defence ministry operates a number of manufacturing facilities and, says Kheirollahi, has produced electrical components for aircraft but not avionics.
He says the Rolls-Royce 250 engine, a Turbomeca powerplant and a Russian engine have been used. Local industry has produced small engines and Kheirollahi says a version of the Progress TV3-117 - which is made in Iran for locally built Antonov An-140s - is being considered, although this would be too powerful for a small helicopter.
Although the helicopter is geared to the Iranian armed forces, commercial operators could also use it. Exports are unlikely, however, as the country does not have the resources to compete against established companies, he adds Kheirollahi.
IHSRC repairs and overhauls Iranian armed forces helicopters and has built a number of machines based on Bell designs. Kheirollahi says that the company is studying the economic advantages of establishing a heavy maintenance capability for recently delivered Mil Mi-171 Hips.
Source: Flight International