The Kazan Ansat helicopter had its first flight on 17 August, marking the manufacturer's debut as a helicopter designer. Kazan is better known as the major maker of Mil helicopters, having produced more than 11,000.

The 3,000kg Ansat, powered by a pair of Klimov-built Pratt & Whitney Canada PK206C engines, has a maximum payload of 1,000kg (2,200lb), or up to nine passengers. Cruise speed is estimated at 135kt (250km/h) and range at 520km (350nm).

Kazan Helicopter Plant general director Alexander Lavrentyev says the Ansat is directly targeted at the market for Eurocopter BK117 class helicopters. Lavrentyev claims that the Ansat will be offered at one-third of the BK117's price of $3.3 million.

Ansat programme chief and Kazan deputy general director Valery Kartashev says the first airframe is being used as a rotor test rig. Certification tests will start next month and are likely to take about a year. By the end of the year the third prototype is to join the test programme.

Source: Flight International