Russian Helicopters (a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec) and China’s Lectern Aviation Supplies, have signed a contract for the Mi-26TS heavy transport helicopter. Under the contract, the helicopter will be delivered in 2015, and will be operated in forestry management in China’s Shandong province.
„The Mi-26TS is an unrivalled helicopter, widely used and highly rated by Chinese operators,” noted Russian Helicopters' Deputy CEO for Sales and Marketing Grigory Kozlov. „This model is already operated successfully across China – where it is used both for complex transport missions and for fire-fighting and emergency response duties. The new Mi-26TS will prove an effective addition to our Chinese partners' fleet of helicopters, opening up new business opportunities.”
The Mi-26 is the world’s largest series-produced transport helicopter, and is unrivalled from both a technical and economic point of view. These helicopters can carry 20 tonnes of cargo internally or on an external sling, a record for any series-produced transport helicopter. In China, the Mi-26TS is used to transport heavy loads, technology and personnel, as well as in emergency evacuation operations and on firefighting missions.
Mi-26TS helicopters were used in the clear-up operation following the devastating earthquakes in China’s Sichuan province in 2008 and 2013. This helicopter ensured a rapid response, transporting numerous military and search and rescue crews to the affected sites, delivering heavy construction machinery, equipment and materials, and also evacuating large numbers of people. The Mi-26TS, which can transport up to 20 tonnes of cargo, clearly demonstrated its unique abilities.
Commercial operators in China currently operate three Mi-26TS helicopters. Two are in Qingdao Helicopter’s fleet, and the third is operated by Flying Dragon.
The Mi-26T and its military counterpart, the Mi-26, were developed at the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, and are series produced by Rostvertol (both Russian Helicopters companies). Work is currently underway on an upgraded version of the helicopter, the Mi-26T2. The Mi-26T2 will be fitted with a new BREO-26 avionics suite and glass cockpit with five multifunctional LCD displays, new digital autopilot, and NAVSTAR/GLONASS supported navigation system. The Mi-26T2’s array of on-board equipment ensures the helicopter can operate in any part of the world, and ensures it can perform flights to international standards. The latest avionics suite fitted also makes it possible to reduce the number of crew needed from 5 to 2 people, plus an operator should the external sling be in use.
Source / Author: Russian Helicopters
Photo: Russian Helicopters