Russian Helicopters has revealed ambitions to develop what it describes as an “ultra-light” rotorcraft to address a gap in its range.
In an interview published on the manufacturer’s website, chief executive Alexander Mikheev, notes that the segment is the only one in which it does not compete.
“In the near future, Russian Helicopters is going to address this issue and introduce a helicopter in this class to the market,” he says.
It does not provide details on what it classes as ultra-light, but the smallest types in its current line-up are the 3.6t maximum take-off weight Kamov Ka-226T and Kazan Ansat light twins.
In addition, Mikheev emphasises that Russian Helicopters remains open to collaboration with Western manufacturers despite the ongoing tensions caused by the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
“Russian Helicopters never refuses to implement joint projects with foreign companies, regardless of their ownership. We’re always open for a dialogue,” he says.
“It is necessary to point out that our partners from the European Union, Canada and the US share the same attitude and hope, just as we do, that political decisions will not become a deterrent factor.”
PW207K engines from Pratt & Whitney Canada power the Ansat, while French-built Turbomeca engines are installed on both the Ka-226T and the developmental Ka-62.
The long-delayed first flight of the Ka-62 is yet to take place but Mikheev insists that serial production of the 6.5t helicopter will begin within three years, alongside that of the heavier Mil Mi-171A2 and Mi-38.