Russian Helicopters holding company (part of Rostec State Corporation) started serial production of Mi-8AMT Arctic helicopters for civilian customers. Mi-8AMT helicopter in its Arctic version completed the flight-test program and the procedure of acceptance by an independent commission of the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya). The system provides for quick start of engines in extremely low temperatures, even if the helicopter is deployed without a hangar for a long time. The rotorcraft’s main features include a unique system for heating transmission parts, designed by JSC National helicopter center Мil & Kamov. Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant made the first rotorcraft which is ready to start operation.
The helicopter is equipped with two additional fuel tanks, which allow it to fly long distances. This in very important for northern districts with low population density. The Arctic version of Mi-8AMT can fly up to 1,400 km. An emergency floatation system can also be installed on the helicopter to fly over a vast area of waters in the Arctic.When the helicopter was designed, great attention was given to ensuring that it is capable of flying over the Arctic terrain with few features, in the conditions of polar night, harsh weather, and when satellite and radio signals are lost. For that purpose, the rotorcraft is equipped with a special navigation complex.
The complex includes several navigation systems for locating the helicopter, a radar with horizontal and vertical sweep of information on the weather, a digital autopilot, and radio stations with a wide range of frequencies. The helicopter is capable of automated hovering, flying a planned hovering route, and landing. The navigation system considerably reduces the load on the crew, and ensures greater safety of the flight. The system for heating transmission parts is complemented by an improved system for thermal protection of the cargo cabin and special thermal insulation shutters in sliding doors and cockpit doors.
The Mil Mi-8 (Russian: Ми-8, NATO reporting name: Hip) is a medium twin-turbine helicopter, originally designed by the Soviet Union, and now produced by Russia. In addition to its most common role as a transport helicopter, the Mi-8 is also used as an airborne command post, armed gunship, and reconnaissance platform. The Mi-8 is among the world’s most-produced helicopters, used by over 50 countries. As of 2015, when combined the two helicopters are the third most common operational military aircraft in the world. The Soviet military originally showed little interest in the Mi-8 until the Bell UH-1’s involvement in the Vietnam war became widely publicised as a great asset to the United States.
There are numerous variants, including the Mi-8T, which, in addition to carrying 24 troops, is armed with rockets and anti-tank guided missiles. The Mil Mi-17 export version is employed by around 20 countries; its equivalent in Russian service in the Mi-8M series. The only visible difference between the Mi-8 and Mi-17 is that the tail rotor is on the starboard side (right side) of the Mi-8, whereas in Mi-17 it is on the port side. Also Mi-17 also has some improved armour plating for its crew. The naval Mil Mi-14 version is also derived from the Mi-8. The Mi-8 is constantly improving and the newest version still remains in production in 2016.
JSC “Russian Helicopters”, a part of Rostec State Corporation, is a leading player in the global helicopter industry, the sole Russian designer and manufacturer of helicopters. The Holding Company was established in 2007 and is headquartered in Moscow. Russian Helicopters operate five helicopter assembly plants, two design bureaus, component production and maintenance enterprises, aircraft repair plants and one helicopter service company providing after-sales support in Russia and abroad. It is the world’s 24th-largest defence contractor measured by 2012 defence revenues, and the second-largest based in Russia (after Almaz-Antey).