Russian Helicopters' Mi-171A3 multipurpose helicopter has begun flight tests. The maiden flight in hover mode lasted 15 minutes and passed normally, with all systems demonstrating stable operation. The machine is designed for offshore operations and the maintenance of offshore drilling platforms.
During the flight the crew, consisting of senior test pilot Hero of Russia Alexander Klimov and test pilot holder of the Order of Courage Vladimir Kutanin, performed a series of short vertical manoeuvres while turning and moving the helicopter in all directions at various speeds.
“The modern and competitive Mi-171A3 helicopter has been developed in record time: the state contract for the development of a helicopter modification designed for flights to offshore drilling platforms was signed by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade with Russian Helicopters in 2020. The total amount of state support for the project amounts to one billion rubles,” says Russian Federation Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov.
Development of the Mi-171A3 began in 2018. The latest helicopter fully complies with IOGP (International Association of Oil and Gas Producers) standards and meets the increased requirements for ensuring the safety of flights over the water surface.
It was designed digitally, and various parts of the fuselage are manufactured at the Kazan Helicopter Plant, the Far Eastern enterprise AAK Progress and at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, where the final assembly of the helicopter is also taking place.
“The first flight is an important stage in the testing of the new aircraft. According to the pilots, the helicopter is good, easy to fly and the equipment functions well," says the head of Russian Helicopters' parent company Rostec State Corporation Sergei Chemezov. "We hope that the helicopter will be in great demand both among domestic operators in the fuel and energy sector and abroad. The market size for the new offshore helicopter is estimated at about 100 units by 2035, but there are prerequisites for improving this forecast; after its premiere at MAKS-2021, interest in the Mi-171A3 from potential customers has grown significantly."