The most advanced Ka-226T light helicopter developed by Rostec State Corporation’s Russian Helicopters Holding Company commenced flight tests and made its first flight at the flight-testing facility of Mil and Kamov National Helicopter Center. This is the first Russian rotorcraft with fully digital design documentation.
Andrey Boginsky, Director General of Russian Helicopters, reported on the progress of the Ka-226T light helicopter upgrade project during the working meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The modernized helicopter was displayed for the first time at the international aerospace show MAKS-2021 and the international debut of the upgraded Ka-226T abroad will take place at the upcoming Dubai Airshow 2021 on November 14 to 18 in Dubai (UAE).
“The new Ka-226T is the first Russian helicopter with the entire design documentation done in digital format, significantly cutting the time required to build the machine and shortly begin flight tests. At the end of this week, the upgraded Ka-226T will make its debut at international exhibitions during the Dubai Airshow 2021, and we are confident that it will stir genuine interest among foreign customers due to its excellent flight characteristics, enabling its operation at altitudes up to 6.5 kilometers, its versatility, comfort and safety,” Rostec’s aviation cluster spokesperson said.
Due to the helicopter’s key feature — suitability for high altitude flights — the Ka-226T modernization project was given the working title “The Climber”. It differs from the previous models of the Ka-226 family by a new design of the airframe and fuselage with seriously enhanced aerodynamic characteristics. The hull is made of modern lightweight materials. The Ka-226T has a new rotor head, blades and main gearbox, as well as a shockproof emergency fuel system which meets the strictest safety requirements.
In addition, the helicopter is equipped with a new complex of flight instrumentation and radio communication equipment, and has available options of installing oxygen equipment, floats, air conditioning and air heating systems.
Ka-226T has a coaxial main rotor design, which provides good controllability in thin air, resistance to strong side winds, high rate of climb, and the ability to take off and land on sites located at high altitudes. Ka-226T helicopter is also highly efficient for flights over water surface. It can take off and land on the deck of minor sea vessels.
The machine is characterized by low vibration, ease and simplicity of operation, the ability to take off and land on the smallest areas (including urban environments), high accuracy of hovering even when carrying cargo on the external suspension, and safety of passenger on boarding even with running rotors.
Serial production of the upgraded Ka-226T helicopter is scheduled to begin in 2022 at Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant in close cooperation with Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise.