Russian Helicopters holding company (part of Rostec State Corporation) started serial production of Mi-8AMT Arctic helicopters for civilian customers. The company recently issued a press release stating that the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant already completed the first rotorcraft, which is now ready for operation.
Mi-8AMT in its Arctic version already completed the test flight programme and the procedure of acceptance performed by an independent commission of the Federal Air Transport Agency (Росавиация / Rosaviatsiya).
Among the main special features of this helicopter, the unique system for heating transmission parts should be mentioned. This installation was designed by JSC ´National helicopter centre Мil & Kamov´ and provides the possibility of quick engine start in extremely low temperatures – even if the helicopter is operating without being hangared for a long time.
That transmission parts heating is complemented by an improved system for thermal protection of the cargo cabin and special thermal insulation shutters in sliding doors and cockpit doors. Additional covers protect the helicopter from low temperatures, high humidity and strong wind, even if stored outside for a long time. All those installations of Mi-8AMT have the usual rubber hoses replaced by Teflon hoses, resistant to freezing temperatures.
´New Mi-8AMT helicopter will be wanted by many Russian companies and government agencies that are pursue their objectives in the Arctic. The first rotorcraft is now ready for operation and negotiations with several potential Russian customers are ongoing´, stated Director General of Russian Helicopters, Andrey Boginsky. ´The holding company is doing its best to provide the reliable and modern helicopters, that are irreplaceable at many important tasks performed in that specific region.´
Mi-8AMT is equipped with two additional fuel tanks, allowing the helicopter to fly a distance up to 1,400 kilometres, a feature that is very important in the northern districts with low population density. An emergency floatation system can be installed as an option, for the rotorcraft designed to fly over a vast area of waters in the Arctic.
´This helicopter is necessary for air medical services, maintenance service for the fuel and energy facilities, and it also meets the needs of polar expeditions. In addition, the new Mi-8AMT may also help to improve the transportation in northern regions,´ emphasized Managing Director of Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, Leonid Belykh.
When the Arctic helicopter was designed, a great attention was given to ensure its capability of flying in the Arctic conditions, over the desolated areas, during the polar night, harsh weather and without satellite and radio signals. For this reason, Mi-8AMT is equipped with a special navigation complex, including a weather radar with horizontal and vertical sweep, digital autopilot, radio station with a broad frequency range and several locating systems. The advanced navigation system reduces the crew workload and ensures flight safety. Mi-8AMT is also capable of automated hovering and flying a planned route with hovering and landing.
Photos courtesy of JSC “Russian Helicopters” / Rostec State Corporation. “Russian Helicopters” press materials were used.