Russia has major ambitions in the Arctic, both regarding business development and the Northern Sea Route. Search and rescue services are key. This photo shows an MI-26T, one of the models produced by the producers Russian Helicopters. This model is used for both transportation, evacuation and fire fighting. (Illustration: Russian Helicopters)
This photo shows an Mi-26T, which is one of the other models that Russian Helicopter produces. In terms of load capacity it is among the world’s best line production helicopters, and it is intensively used for transportation, evacuation and fire fighting. (Photo: Russian Helicopters)

First Arctic Helicopter soon Ready for Take-off

The first Russian Arctic Helicopter – built specifically for exploitation in adverse weather conditions in the far north – is to be tested out in just a few months time.

– The first test run of the MI-8AMTSh Arctic helicopter will be carried out in winter, with a test version currently under construction at the aircraft factory in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, the Head of the Government Supplies Department at Russian Helicopters, Aleksey Putintsev, told the Russian Newsagency RIA Novosti earlier this week.

The helicopter is being developed for low visibility conditions, including Polar nights, and is to be able to fly without a satellite signal.

According to Putintsev the helicopter can be used both for polar explorer’s and oil producers’ needs.

– This is a special modernization of the Mi-8 for northern latitudes. First of all, we plan to produce it for the army. A trial model is now being built. At the moment, the helicopter fuselage is ready. We plan to start the tests in the upcoming winter, so that customers will be able to consider a purchase, Putintsev said.

The new helicopter is being designed based on the Mi-8AMTSh-B military transport helicopter, which is equipped with new VK-2500-03 gas turbine engines and modernized avionics.

The manufacturing company Russian Helicopters was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Moscow. The company designs, manufactures, services and tests both modern civilian and military helicopters.

According to the company’s website the enterprise produces around 35 percent of the global combat helicopter fleet and nearly 74 percent of ultra-heavy helicopters worldwide.

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