Russian Helicopters latest VIP transport gets approvals

Russian Helicopters new serious contender for the VIP transport market has received two main amendment approvals for the helicopter's VIP cabin and air-conditioning system from the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, (which as of this month has taken over duties as Russia's aviation certification authority), opening the way for commercial operations.

The manufacturer – part of the state owned Rostec corporation - said the new hydromechanical controlled light multirole commercial Ansat has the largest cabin in its class, with up to seven passenger seats. This makes possible maximum levels of comfort in the passenger VIP version. In the five-seat variant, the cabin can accommodate a wardrobe and full-fledged baggage section with built-in mini-bar.

The passenger cabin comes with ventilation and air conditioning, as well as individual lighting and air controls. The cabin has shock-absorbing seats and vibration-reducing armrests. For additional passenger comfort there are also flight kits with active noise reduction.

“We never stop working to improve our helicopters, and proof of that is the unique Ansat,” said Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev.

According to Kazan Helicopters CEO Vadim Ligai, work is currently ongoing to upgrade the helicopter’s fuel system and install additional 200 kg capacity fuel tanks to increase its range. Also in development is a 750 kg capacity failsafe fuel system and improved operational capabilities.

Kazan Helicopters, designs and produces the Ansat. Work on achieving certification of the hydromechanical Ansat began in 2011. Previously Kazan Helicopters had produced a fly-by-wire Ansat that was ahead of its time – no commercial model with a similar control system had been certified anywhere in the world, and the key requirements for this innovative system had not yet been codified.

To expedite bringing the model to market it was decided to adapt the Ansat programme to continued demand for traditional hydromechanical controls. The hydromechanical Ansat achieved additional type certification from the AR IAC that allowed the launch of commercial passenger flights at the end of 2014. In May 2015 the medical version of this helicopter also achieved type certification. Russian Helicopters signed the first delivery agreements to supply the passenger Ansat at this year’s international HeliRussia exhibition.