Heavy combat helicopters are designed to transport people, arms and use them. They have a serious reservation, high speed. But for civilian purposes they are not suitable: too large, expensive and difficult to manage and operate. Even during the Cold War, foreign manufacturers began to create light helicopters, in Russia this business went somewhat backward.
Development of light helicopters in Russia
Domestic companies are inferior to foreigners in the development of light helicopters. But the holding "Helicopters of Russia" does not agree with this position and is taking active steps to change. The military lightweight Ka-226 helicopter, which was being developed for India, was converted into civilian, and the first orders for the Ka-226T have already been completed. Takeoff weight of such a car is 3600 kg. Gazpromavia ordered 18 vehicles for patrolling the gas network. They requested a separate modification of the Ka-226TG for flights in difficult climatic conditions of the Far North. Ka-226TG can fly in the dark and in the fog, has an additional fuel tank, which increases the range of flight without refueling.
In Tomilino there is a plant with a capacity of up to 20 cars per year. It is set for the production of AW139, a 6.4-ton helicopter intended for passenger transportation. It is planned in the future to supply such helicopters throughout Russia and the CIS countries.
Also Helicopters of Russia continue active cooperation with AgustaWestland, which contributes to the development of helicopter construction. Light helicopters of the world will not remain without the flag of Russia in their ranks.
Partnership with foreign companies is good, but I would like to have my own light Russian helicopters. One of them is "Ansat" (from Tatar it is translated as "simple"). This is a light multi-purpose helicopter, designed and assembled at OJSC Kazan Helicopter Plant.
The first Ansat was launched in flight back in 1999. Despite the name, the history of its development is not so simple. This is the first helicopter in Russia equipped with an electro-remote control system. After the release of the series, the car was delivered to the Ministry of Defense and to South Korea, where the accident occurred, which led to the death of the pilot. The cause was recognized by EDSU. After that, the designers carried out work to improve this system, the civilian version was released with a hydromechanical control system - Ansat-1M. The police and forest services continue to use Ansat for their needs. And for Korea was issued a special modification of "Ansat-K", that is, Korean.
The helicopter has two turbo engines and a maximum take-off weight of 3.3 tons, with its own mass of 1-1.3 tons, can carry 9 people. To simplify the design, modern technologies and materials, including composite ones, were used. Despite all the difficulties, by 2018 the Ministry of Defense plans to acquire up to 40 such helicopters with an average cost of 101.4 million rubles.
However, there is not only a military, but also a passenger, transport, administrative version, for rescuers, doctors and training flights. This is a full-fledged light multi-purpose helicopter.
In recent years, among the suppliers of light helicopters, the American company Robinson Helicopter is leading, but the domestic company LLC Berkut Aero is going to move the leader with its child. Due to the use of modern technologies and materials, other design solutions, the light multi-purpose helicopter Berkut is twice as cheap as foreign analogues. The plant in Togliatti has the capacity to produce 15 helicopters per month.
It is available in two trim levels with different engines in 147 hp. And 150 hp, has two main rotors. This solution allows you to reduce the diameter of the screws and the total length of the machine due to the lack of a steering screw. Although coaxial helicopter is easier to control and it is more resistant to bad weather, but its center of gravity is shifted upward and the height of the car is increased.
The range of the Russian "Berkut VL" is 600, and the "Berkut VL-M" - 850 km. It takes off at a speed of 5.8-6.2 m / s. The ceiling of the aircraft is 3000 m. The weight of the empty helicopter is below half a ton (this is the lightest helicopter in Russia), and the developed speed is up to 170 km / h. Can be used for both civil and rescue purposes and for patrolling areas.
Helicopter for extreme entertainment
There are helicopters, which seemed to create only for entertainment. These are the lightest helicopters in the world. This is the idea was the creators of AirScooter II. This is the lightest single helicopter made of high-strength materials.
He tried to make it as simple and straightforward to manage as possible. He has two coaxial screws that rotate in different directions and are responsible for lifting and maneuvering. Instead of a chassis or runners, two floats are used, which allow a safe landing on the water and on the ground.
Specifically for the AirScooter II, a four-stroke engine was developed. To the right of the pilot is a fuel tank of 18.9 liters, which allows you to fly up to 2 hours at 15 meters above the ground. Despite the fact that this helicopter was created for extreme sports, it can be used for delivery of express mail, patrolling and observation, and will also be of interest to hunters.
It is worth mentioning the Japanese GEN-H-4. This is a civilian helicopter, which made its first flight back in 2000. Has the simplest design and control. At design decisions the coaxial scheme of screws which are started by four small engines has been applied. According to the creators, according to the instructions it can be collected independently for half an hour.
This flying baby has modest, but sufficient for its size indicators. Its lifting capacity is only 86 kg, the official ceiling height is 3000 m. Although climbing it to such a height is simply scary. A person weighing 79 kg will be able to fly for about an hour at a speed of 88 km / h, then you will need refueling. The design itself weighs 70 kg - it's the lightest helicopter!
In a joke GEN-H-4 is called a "flying stool". In fact, it is a chair with wheels, to which four four-stroke engines and four-meter blades from above were attached. All engines operate autonomously from each other, and the failure of all at once is unlikely. This lightest helicopter can hold on to three, and make a landing on two. Just in case, the kit includes a parachute.
Helicopter for the price of the car
In this age of high technology, there is an idea to create a flying vehicle that will cost no more than a car, and training on it will be simple. So far, only two devices have come to this side. The American AirScooter costs 50 thousand dollars, and the Japanese lightest helicopter GEN-H-4 - 30 thousand dollars, and you can train the pilot in a few days.