Russia and China plan to build an innovative heavy-lift helicopter

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Russia and China are to sign the contract for the joint development of a heavy-lift helicopter designated Advanced Heavy Lift (AHL), Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Sales at Russian Helicopters holding company Grigory Kozlov was quoted as saying in an interview.

“We are going to build a helicopter from scratch making it a fundamentally new aircraft even though it will borrow some of the solutions from the existing Mi-26, explains Gregory Kozlov.

He also noted that to date, Russian Helicopters and Chinese corporation AVIC had formulated preliminary specifications and were working on towards a consensus on what the advanced heavy-lift helicopter would look like.

Experts estimate that the demand for the new model in China could top 200 rotorcrafts for the period until 2040. It is assumed that the AHL take-off weight will be about 38 tons, while the maximum commercial payload inside the cabin – 10 tons and the external load – 15 tons. The helicopter will be designed for around-the-clock operation in hot climates, in highland areas and in all weather conditions. It will be suitable for a wide range of missions: transportation, evacuation, firefighting and many others.

It is proposed that the future Russian-Chinese heavy-lift helicopter will receive a Russian-made engine leveraging the technology of the domestically produced engine PD-14. The Perm aircraft designers are prepared to launch this engine into mass production. One of the PD-14 prototypes was unveiled at the MAKS-2015 air show.

The framework cooperation agreement for the advanced heavy-lift helicopter project was signed between Russian Helicopters and China Aviation Industry Corporation this May. Pursuant to the agreement, the parties will work together across all the areas of development and preparatory activities ahead of the mass production of the new Advanced Heavy Lift (AHL) rotorcraft.

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