Russian Helicopters' Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant has supplied a Mi-171 helicopter with VK-2500-03 engines to a Chinese civil aviation company. In 2019, the Civil Aviation Administration of China issued a national type certificate for the Mi-171 with this new powerplant. The decision of the Chinese aviation authorities expanded the capabilities of Russian Helicopters to meet the needs of the Chinese market.
“The key advantages of the helicopter, a high thrust-to-weight ratio and operational safety in mountainous regions, caught the attention of potential buyers at the end of 2018 when the Mi-171 was demonstrated in China,” confirms Leonid Belykh, MD of U-UAZ. “The Civil Aviation Administration of China and leadership of the Ministry of Emergency Situations were impressed by the helicopter's capabilities for transporting goods on an external sling and emergency response, as well as its ability to quickly load and unload rescue and firefighter personnel.”
Due to its heat-resistant materials and improved design. the VK-2500-03 engine, designed and supplied by UEC-Klimov, is more powerful that the older TV3-117VM engine series 02, especially when used in high altitude. The introduction of the BARK-78 digital automatic control system offers more detailed control over the engines and their different modes, and generally simplifies their operation. The use of VK-2500-03 engines in Mi-171 helicopters ensures higher load capacity and increases the operational and hovering ceiling. Additionally, greater available engine power in an emergency mode ensures greater safety during flight with one running engine.
This is the second order by a Chinese civilian operator to Russian Helicopters for this configuration. China currently operates approximately 200 Mi-171 helicopters.