Russian Helicopters Successfully Conclude Flight Tests on the Mi-171A2 Flying Laboratory

The Mi-171A2 flying laboratory has concluded the second phase of preliminary flight tests. A total of 67 ground runs and 72 flights were carried out at the flight test centre at Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, a Russian Helicopters enterprise (part of State Corporation Rostec).

During phase one, 43 flights were conducted on the helicopter, which was kitted out with its rotor system comprising modified components – the new main polymer composite main rotor blades and X-shaped tail rotor. The second phase of tests saw the installation of VK-2500PS-03 engines and BARK-6V7S digital regulation and control systems, a modified stabiliser and antitorque. The tests were designed to review the VK-2500PS-03 engines, stabiliser, antitorque, and main rotor with a view to carrying out additional certification testing on the Mi-171A2.

The report compiled based on the results of the preliminary flight tests was in line with the positive reviews provided by test pilots. The tests confirmed the helicopter’s aircraft performance characteristics met those specified in the design documentation.

Currently the flying laboratory is being re-equipped for tethered ground testing – the helicopter will be installed on-site after the Mi-38 concludes relay testing. This phase of tests will focus on the rotor transmission and control mechanisms, establishing whether they meet flight regulation AP-29.

The first prototype of the Mi-171A2 will simultaneously undergo preliminary tests, with 42 out of 178 flights already concluded. The second prototype of the Mi-171A2 is currently undergoing final preparations and will soon be incorporated into this flight test programme.

Unlike the flying laboratory, the first and second Mi-171A2 prototypes are equipped with a integrated digital KBO-17 avionics suite developed by Ulyanovsk Instrument Design Bureau (part of Radio electronic Technologies). This system is built to a ‘glass cockpit’ design and makes it possible to cut crew numbers to two people. The KBO-17 suite makes it possible to carry out flights day and night in regular and difficult weather conditions – delivering a qualitatively new level of crew performance. This equipment meets the latest requirements relating to communications, navigation, and control. Thanks to the on-board controls monitoring the condition of the helicopter’s various systems and components, the helicopter can be operated in line with its technical condition.


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