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SINGAPORE, February 17. /TASS/. A convertiplane developed by the Russian Helicopters Group has performed its first flight, the company’s representatives told TASS at the rotocraft maker’s exhibition stand at the Singapore Airshow 2016 on Wednesday.
"The works on developing the unique machine started in 2015. Over that time, we have achieved considerable results and have already started the first state of flight tests," the representatives quoted Alexander Okhonko, the CEO of VR-Technologies, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters Group, as saying.
The project is being implemented as part of the Speed program in cooperation with the company Aerob, a resident of the space cluster at Russia’s Skolkovo hi-tech hub outside Moscow.
The project aims at developing a family of multi-purpose rotocraft, Russian Helicopters said.
The convertiplane is equipped with a hybrid power plant expected to allow it to develop a speed of up to 500 km/hr.
Today only the consortium of US companies Bell Helicopter and Boeing is serially producing convertiplanes, in particular, the MV-22 Osprey. These machines are delivered to the US Marine Corps and the Air Force, as well as to Japan, which has ordered five such aircraft.
Israel has agreed in principle to purchase MV-22 convertiplanes but a contract has not yet been signed. This model has been considered as a relatively unreliable aircraft up to now.
As of February 2015, the US Armed Forces received 250 convertiplanes. Each machine cost over $72 million in the financial year 2014.