Maiden flight of the first prototype Mi-171A2 (Image © Russian Helicopters)

Airborne! The hippest Hip as of now

The most modern version of one of the most famous Russian Helicopters made its maiden flight on 25 November 2014: the first prototype of the Mil Mi-171A2 – the latest successor of the legendary Mi-8 that NATO calls Hip – went airborne for the first time.

During its first flight its main systems were tested, with commander and test pilot 1st class Salavat Sadriev at the controls. This first aircraft of the type has been designed fully to do test on operability and safety. Mi-171A2 Prototype 1 has a KBO-17 avionics suite and new VK-2500PS-03 engines. The “flying laboratory” Mi-171LL has already tested the new helicopters rotor system and engine, before today’s real test flight.

The KBO-17 open-architecture avionics suite is built by the Ulyanovsk Instrument Design Bureau of Radioelectronic Technologies to a “glass cockpit” design, and includes all-weather digital TV and thermal imaging cameras, delivering external visibility day or night, with the video output given on a high-resolution multifunction display. The KBO-17 will mean a reduction in crew from three to two people. The on-board maintenance systems built in to the KBO-17 make it possible to monitor the condition of the helicopter’s main systems and components, storing this data in its memory.

According to Russian Helicopters – the state company that combines all Russian chopper industries – the new Mi-171A2 is likely to have a 20 percent increase in speed compared to earlier models, reaching 151 knots (280 km/h) with additional engine trust and reduced vibration.

A range of alterations in construction, including new main and tail rotors, smoother vertical and horizontal fins, will be incorporated into the second prototype of the Mi-171A2. The second test prototype will be equipped with an additional range of equipment options: an external sling for up to 5 tonnes and weight measurement system; air-conditioning system, energy absorbing passenger seats for 24 people, and anti-dust equipment that aims to clean the air up to 97 percent. This second prototype is currently being assembled and equipped at the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant.

Source: Russian Helicopters

Maiden flight of the first prototype Mi-171A2 (Image © Russian Helicopters)
Maiden flight of the first prototype Mi-171A2 (Image © Russian Helicopters)

Maiden flight of the first prototype Mi-171A2 (Image © Russian Helicopters)
Maiden flight of the first prototype Mi-171A2 (Image © Russian Helicopters)