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Russia’s advanced Mi-17A2 helicopters hold their own in extreme cold

The tests confirmed that Mi-171A2 helicopters can operate in harshest climatic conditions
Mi-171A2 helicopter Ladislav Karpov/TASS
Mi-171A2 helicopter
© Ladislav Karpov/TASS

MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. The Russian Helicopters Holding of the Rostec State Corporation has successfully completed trials of the latest multirole Mi-171A2 helicopters in extremely low temperatures of up to -50 degrees Centigrade, the company’s press service has said.

"The results of the tests, held in Yakutia, have proven that main systems and avionics are operable [in extremely low temperatures]. Two Mi-171A2 helicopters have performed eight ground runs (when engines are switched on without taking off), and 36 flights under special programs," the Russian Helicopters said.

The tests confirmed that Mi-171A2 helicopters can operate in harshest climatic conditions.

Mi-171A2 design has 80 upgrades against the basic model, the Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopter family. The helicopter has VK-2500PS-03 engine (civilian option of engines mounted on combat Mi-28) with digital controls. Mi-171A2 is distinguished by a new carrying system against Mi-8/Mi-17 family. The helicopter has an upgraded X-shaped anti-torque rotor and the main rotor with all-composite blades of upgraded aerodynamic shape. Thus, the aerodynamic advantages increase the main rotor thrust of Mi-171A2 over 700 kg which improves all flight and technical characteristics.

Russian Industry and Trade Minister earlier described Mi-171A2 as "one of the most anticipated helicopter of the Russian helicopter industry."

In late 2017 contracts for two Mi-171A2 were signed with Indian and Kazakh companies. Another two helicopters are to be handed over in the spring of 2018 to UTair - Helicopter Services (a unit of UTair airlines) for test operations.