It’s a great month for the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (UUAP) in Southern Sibera about 120 miles (200 km) from the Mongolian border. The plant – part of the vast Russian state arms corporation Rostec and its subsidiary Russian Helicopters, just finished its 850th Mi-171 series helicopter, while celebrating its 75th year anniversary.
UUAP goes back to 1939, with the creation of Aircraft Repair Plant No. 99. The then new location in Ulan-Ude was the place where IL-16 fighters and SB bombers were repaired and later deployed in the fight against nazi-Germany.
That was a long time ago and nowadays the UUAP is mostly known for its production of the very reliable Mi-17/Mi-171 series, derivatives of the legendary Mil Mi-8. The 850th Mi-171 was built for
Brazilian commercial operator Atlas Taxi Aereo, but scores of military services fly the type. While the chopper has no manufacturer nickname, NATO reports the type as Hip.
Used by Brazilian national oil company Petrobas to support drilling operations in Brazil’s rainforests, one of the Mi-171A1s already delivered since 2005 to Atlas Taxi Aero flew 1,000 hours last year, carrying 600 tonnes of cargo, primarily drilling equipment, on an external sling.
UUAP started manufacturing helicopters in 1956, producing the Ka-15, Ka-18 and then Ka-25 simultaneously with aeroplanes. In 1980 the plant began to build the first models of the Mi-8/17 series – the Mi-8MT and its export version the Mi-17.
Today, UUAP produces different modifications of the Mi-8/17 series, including the commercial Mi-8AMT, Mi-171, Mi-171A1, and Mi-171E. Prototypes of the new Mi-171A2 are being prepared that make extensive use of the latest developments and materials. The company also manufactures military rotorcraft such as the Mi-8AMTSh and Mi-171Sh transport helicopters. In the near future, the plant will launch production of new versions of these helicopters: the Mi-8AMTSh-V and Mi-8AMTSh-VA.
In total more than 7,500 Hip-type helicopters has been produced so far.
Source: Russian Helicopters, with additional reporting by Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger