A Russian start-up helicopter manufacturer has produced a two-seat co-axial helicopter, aiming to break into the light helicopter market currently dominated by the Robinson R-22 and R-44.

Tolyatti-based Berkut claimed the machine, also called the Berkut, will have an operating cost of just $50/h using standard 95-grade gasoline, with fuel consumption of 19.5 litres/100km.

Berkut hopes to gain the Russian single-example experimental type (EAVS) certificate around October, and then commence flight testing.

The aircraft will be marketed with a price tag of about $70,000, with a Russian 147hp (110kW) VAZ rotary engine, or around $130,000 with a 150hp Lycoming piston powerplant.

The machine has a composite construction and co-axial rotors, - also manufactured from composite and produced by Berkut.

It promises an empty weight of 480kg and a maximum take-off weight of 785kg.

The cockpit features full dual controls with collectives on the left of each seat, and conventional instruments.

A four- or five-seat Berkut-M variant with a larger 250-260hp Lycoming engine is planned to follow in December.

Berkut hopes to build up to ten to 15 aircraft a month.

Source: Flight International