Saturday, May 14, 2022

Russian Ka-52 helicopter suffers excessive vibration

Russian Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter reportedly suffering from serious structural deficiencies, due to exposure to significant vibratory load levels originating from coaxial rotor system.

In intensive operation conditions, Ka-52’s coaxial rotor system with stub wings creates high vibrations.

The real operating experience in the conditions of the war in Ukraine confirmed that the Ka-52 helicopter is prone to excessive vibrations that lead to mechanical failures and vibration-induced fatigue.

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Photos and videos that have appeared on social media show a range of different damage to Ka-52 helicopters caused by excessive body vibration during takeoff or landing. Russian combat helicopters are losing their landing gear fairings, and have cracks in the wings on which the main armament is suspended.

Severe imbalance in the rotating parts of Ka-52 leads to instabilities during flight making control difficult, if not impossible. Severe vibration can also affect avionics and navigation equipment.

In addition, one important issue is the degradation of instrument reading, which is a result of complex human-machine interaction. The Ukrainian military has already shot down several Russian attack helicopters from man-portable anti-tank missile systems at the moment when the crew was experiencing excessive vibration and could not keep track of the situation around.

According to TASS, the Ka-52 Alligator reconnaissance/attack helicopter is designed to destroy tanks, armored and non-armored vehicles, manpower, rotorcraft and other enemy aircraft on the frontline and in the tactical depth, in any weather conditions and at any time. The helicopter is furnished with modern avionics while its coaxial rotor system and enhanced longitudinal control enable it to effectively maneuver and perform complex aerobatic operations.

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Executive Editor

About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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