Russian Helicopters, part of State Corporation Rostec, has produced a batch of Mi-171 helicopters for China General Aviation Service Co Ltd, based on a contract signed in 2015. The two helicopters have already completed a full testing cycle at Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant and are being prepared for shipment to China.
“China is the largest operator of Russian helicopters in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Russian Helicopters deputy CEO for marketing and business development, Alexander Shcherbinin. “We have many years of cooperation and are developing relations with new companies. Our helicopters are equipped with modern equipment, which may be used for forest patrols and to fight against forest fires.”
The helicopters are equipped with an auxiliary power unit SAFIR, which provides a high altitude launch, a rescue winch, as well as an external sling that allows the transportation of bulky loads up to four tons. The helicopters have a modified nose called a “dolphin nose”.
Modern navigation equipment of the Mi-171s includes satellite navigation and weather radar with a multi-function display that optimizes the flight profile and increases its security level. In addition, to expand the use of the helicopters, an additional fuel tank is installed inside a cargo compartment, the right side sliding is enlarged and a searchlight is installed as well.
Helicopters produced at Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant have a solid track record in China; they are operated in regions with severe climatic conditions and tough terrain. The helicopters are used in rescue missions, to deliver goods, medicine, materials, passengers, and for humanitarian assistance.
Russian-made helicopters have proven themselves well during a rescue mission after a strong earthquake in April 2013, in Sichuan province. Mi-171s worked literally around the clock in the disaster zone and were the core fleet involved with the aftermath of the earthquake. In just a few days they helped evacuate about 40,000 people and carried more than 100,000 tons of cargo.
These missions showed that the Mi-171 is ideally suited for search-and-rescue operations. Its advantage is that it is reliable and easy to operate and maintain, which is essential during natural disasters.
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