The Mi-8/171 type helicopter has been equipped with a new air cooling system for the cargo and crew cabins for the first time. The first machines with the new air conditioner, manufactured at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant of Russian Helicopters Holding, itself a part of the Rostec State Corporation, have already been delivered to their customer.
A feature of the development was the use of 3D modelling. Unlike air conditioning systems, where the refrigerant is air taken from the main engines, this system is based on the principles of the operation of vapour compression refrigeration machines and contains a number of advantages.
Air conditioners created on the basis of the vapour compression refrigeration cycle can significantly reduce the power consumption of the helicopter's main engines, since such a system makes it possible to abandon the need for air extraction from the engines. The component parts used in this system can receive power from a ground source and from helicopter generators, which increases their energy efficiency and ensures the air conditioner operates on the ground with the engines turned off using an auxiliary power unit or ground power source. The system provides a temperature reduction of 8-10 ° C in the cargo compartment and crew cabin for 10-20 minutes after turning on the cooling units.
“The development and application of modern technologies, an integrated approach to product design, is a guarantee of creating new life-support systems of a high technical level. Today, advanced air cooling units providing an increased level of comfort in helicopters are among the important factors that determine the competitiveness of a machine,” notes MD of U-UAZ JSC, Leonid Belykh.
The air cooling system includes a compressor, an evaporation unit for the cargo and crew cabins, a condenser unit, a liquid separator battery, a power supply and a control system.
Unlike previously used air conditioners, the new system makes it possible to cool not only the cargo compartment, but also the crew compartment. This will be particularly useful when operating helicopters in countries with hot and tropical climates.