Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (a part of the Russian Helicopters holding company) recently announced the delivery of modernized Mi-171 helicopter with VK-2500-03 engines to a Chinese civil aviation company.
In 2019, the Civil Aviation Administration of China issued a national type certificate for Mi-171 with the new power plant. It allowed the manufacturer to include the modernized helicopter among the rotorcraft offered for the Chinese market.
´The key advantages of the helicopter, high thrust-to-weight ratio and operational safety in mountainous regions, caught the attention of potential buyers in the end of 2018, when Mi-171 was demonstrated in China´, pointed out Leonid Belykh, Managing Director of Ulan-Ude factory. ´The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration and leadership of the Ministry of Emergency Situations were impressed by the capabilities of this rotorcraft regarding transporting goods on an external sling, emergency response and its ability to quickly load and unload the rescue and firefighter personnel.´
The VK-2500-03 engine, designed and manufactured by UEC-Klimov company, is more powerful that the older TV3-117VM engine series 02 – especially when used in high altitude environment – due to using of heat-resistant materials and improved design.
The upgraded engines come with BARK-78 digital automatic control system that gives more detailed management over the engines and their different modes, generally simplifying their operation. New VK-2500-03 engines for Mi-171 helicopters ensure higher load capacity and increase the operational and hovering ceiling. In addition, the increased engine power in an emergency mode provides better safety during the single-engine flying mode.
The recently delivered Mi-171 was already the second one of such configuration that went to the civilian Chinese operator. China is a significant operator of Mi-171 helicopters, with the current fleet of approximately 200 rotorcraft of that type.
Photos courtesy of JSC “Russian Helicopters” / Rostec State Corporation. “Russian Helicopters” press materials were used.