Swedish company Rotorcraft Nordic has ordered 10 light VRT500 helicopters in a basic configuration in 2023. Optional equipment, as well as the VRT500's interior details and exterior paint scheme will be determined after the helicopter receives a type certificate and certificate of airworthiness according to the standards of the European aviation authorities EASA. An application for certification is scheduled for this year.
In early 2019, the technical project of the VRT500 programme was successfully completed and the development of detailed design documentation began. Tests of the first flight model will begin in 2020.
“Europe is one of the potential markets for the implementation of the VRT500. With its flight and technical characteristics, the helicopter will compete with rotorcraft of the same class operating in the region. With today's agreement, the order portfolio for the VRT500 is already 15,” says Okhonko.
Earlier it was reported that in August 2019, at the MAKS-2019 International Aerospace Salon, a dealer agreement on the promotion and sales of VRT500 was signed with the Malaysian company Ludev Aviation. The company intends to acquire five helicopters.
Russian Helicopters Holding Company has also signed an agreement on the basic terms of the transaction of the purchase of a stake in VR-Technologies with the Emirati Tawazun Holding Company.
“The agreement signed today lays the foundation for long-term cooperation in the format of not just colleagues, but business partners. With the support of Rostec State Corporation and RT-Business Development, we were able to achieve full understanding with Tawazun, without which it would be impossible to implement such significant and large-scale projects. As equal partners, we plan to invest at least 400 million euros in the development of VR-Technologies, which will help make the company's products competitive and in demand all over the world," says Russian Helicopters Holding Company director general Andrey Boginskiy.
Abdullah Nasser Al Jaabari, chief officer and head of Tawazun Strategic Development Fund, adds: “This agreement stems from the fund's commitment to support the UAE's strategic vision of investing in advanced industries and transferring relevant technologies."
Russian Helicopters Holding Company, part of Rostec State Corporation, presented the VRT500 abroad for the first time at the International Dubai Air Show.
The Russian debut of the light single-engine VRT500 helicopter, developed by VR-Technologies, took place in 2018 at the HeliRussia international show. Dubai Airshow is the first foreign site where the rotorcraft model is available to potential customers for viewing. In addition to this, the Russian Helicopters booth showcased another development by VR-Technologies – the VRT300 UAV – which is also being presented abroad for the first time. Both aircraft feature coaxial rotors, which ensure high side wind resistance, and small dimensions making them suitable for use in restrained urban conditions.
“Today we are not only debuting our joint exposition with our strategic partner Tawazun but we are also presenting the light multipurpose VRT500 helicopter model abroad for the first time. The rotorcraft is being showcased as part of the city air transportation programme, which is interesting to our partners as a platform for ground-breaking solutions and technologies. We have a common vision of the future, where the key factors will be security, mobility and comfort, which we will be able to ensure. The next very important step for us is to manufacture an experimental VRT500 prototype in the second quarter of 2020,” states VR-Technologies director general Alexander Okhonko.
The rotorcraft features a large cargo and passenger cabin with a capacity of up to five people. The outline dimensions of the rotorcraft are limited due to coaxial rotor placement, which permits the helicopter to be used in confined spaces. The VRT500 is equipped with a modern avionics complex based on the glass cockpit principle, and its key systems have been developed by the best international manufacturers.
The VRT500 helicopter can be produced in several configurations: passenger, multipurpose, cargo, training, VIP and medevac. It will be the world's first medical helicopter in its segment that allows loading and unloading of the unified medical equipment through the rear cabin doors.