Russian Helicopters holding company, part of Rostec State Corporation, has started assembling the first prototype of the Mi-171A3 offshore helicopter. The equipment for assembling the fuselage was put into operation at the OEM's Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant.
The Mi-171A3 comes with several significant upgrades when compared to the Mi-171A2, such as a new airframe that integrates a crash-resistant fuel system into the cargo bay floor and modernised avionics upgraded for offshore operations and flights in the Arctic. The model also features the widespread use of composite materials, which reduces its weight.
“The development of Mi-171A3 involves extensive cooperation between Rostec's enterprises,” comments the industrial director of the aviation cluster of Rostec State Corporation, Anatoly Serdyukov. “The nose part of the helicopter and side panels from polymer composite materials are manufactured at Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company, while the cargo bay floor is manufactured by Kazan Helicopters. The new modification was designed for offshore operations in oil and gas enterprises, so it meets the strictest requirements in the field of flight safety and air navigation. We plan to obtain a type certificate and start serial production in 2022.”
The Mi-171A3 is set to meet the latest international safety requirements, including the international IOGP standard developed by oil companies for offshore operation of helicopters.
“We have modernised our production process, allowing us to launch the assembly line for the Mi-171A3,” adds director general of Russian Helicopters holding company Andrey Boginsky. “The equipment for the new helicopter was manufactured and installed using coordinate-measuring machines and laser trackers, which will significantly increase the quality and accuracy of the assembly. We are planning to present the first prototype at the MAKS-2021 air show.”