The newest, biggest standard helicopter of the world, the Mil Mi-26T2 of Russian Helicopters, is going into series production at Rostvertol, the state company announced on 22 May 2015.
The Mi-26T2 is a modernized version of the Mi-26T, with new avionics and can now also been flown safely at night. The new “Halo” – as the NATO-reporting name goes – is equipped with a so-called “glass” cockpit that includes five multifunction LCDs, a control board, duplicate electromechanical instruments, and an upgraded digital communications suite. On-board video displays offer visuals of the cargo on the external sling during the day.
The navigation suite enables the Mi-26T2 to partly fly on the automatic, increasing flight safety and reducing the crew’s workload. It has a ground proximity warning system, a well as a collision warning system to give the piloting crew an overview of a 6 to 7 miles (9-11 km) radius.
The military Mi-26 helicopter and its commercial variant Mi-26T have been produced at Rostvertol since 1980. Being able to carry 20 tonnes of cargo inside the cabin or on an external sling, makes the chopper unique in the world. The Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and Rostvertol jointly worked on the modernization program of the Mi-26/Mi-26T. On 17 February 2011 the modernised Mi-26T2 helicopter completed its first flight at Rostvertol. Compared to the earlier Halos with five personnel on board, the T2 has only a crew of 2 to 3 depending on the mission.
Apart from transporting cargo, serve as a large medevac asset, transport troops or paratroopers, Russian Helicopters is actively marketing the Mi-26T2 for fire-fighting and autonomous flying gas station. Especially in vast and remote regions, like much of the Russian landscape, the Mi-26T could be useful in providing kerosene or diesel fuel to other aircraft or vehicles on the ground.
Source: Russian Helicopters
Featured image: The Mi-26T2 in flight (Image © Russian Helicopters)