Russian firefighting helicopters help across Europe

Russian firefighting helicopters help across Europe

30-Apr-2010 Source: Russian Helicopters

The Russian firefighting Ka-32A11BC, Mi-17, and Mi-26T are ready to keep Europe safe from fires in the upcoming summer season – always a potential hazard in many EU countries. Such a statement was made by the Russian Helicopters delegates at the Athens Firefighting International Conference on 29 April 2010.

Russian Helicopters offers rotorcraft fit for fighting fires of any complexity. They can also perform search and rescue operations. Russian Helicopters keeps the needs of its customers in mind when building medium and heavy helicopters in the firefighting variant, and creating firefighting kits for ordinary transport helicopters that can be installed on ground in an emergency.

EU states are traditional buyers and operators of Russian rotorcraft. Russian Helicopters highly values its cooperation with European partners and is set to further develop it.

Today Russian firefighting rotorcraft are operated in 30 countries worldwide. The most popular is the Russian multi-role Ka-32A11BC that has been certified in major regions – America, Asia, and Europe. It is regarded by leading experts as the best in its category. The Ka-32A11BC is unequalled in firefighting, especially in mountainous terrain and top floors of tall buildings.
Coaxial rotors are particularly useful in firefighting (in highly turbulent atmosphere). The coaxial rotors of the Ka-32A11BC ensure greater precision and control in highly turbulent atmospheres, allowing highly accurate dumping at lower altitude. Besides, the high climb rate lets the Ka-32A11BC pilot leave the area on fire with a rapid maneuver.

The Ka-32A11BC offers over 40 equipment options, including various Bambi-bucket and Simplex systems, water cannons for horizontal firefighting, foldable rescue cabins of different capacity, and other equipment.

September 2009 saw the certification of the Ka-32A11BC by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The helicopter was given type certificate EASA.IM.R.133. It allows any company to commercially operate the helicopter. Before that it was used by some EU state authorities for firefighting and mountain powerline construction pursuant to Specific Airworthiness Specification (SAS).

In 2008 the Ka-32A11BC was certified by China, Indonesia, and South Korea. It received a Mexican type certificate in 2005. Canada issued a supplement to the certificate allowing administrative passenger transportation in 2006 (the certificate itself was issued back in 1998).

Various modifications of the Ka-32 are successfully operated in Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Canada, South Korea, Chile, Mexico, Taiwan, Japan, China, Papua New Guinea, and other countries. In South Korea the fleet of Ka-32s exceeds 60 – these helicopters are top scorers in the Forestry Service (firefighting) and Coast Guard.

Russian Helicopters also offers its firefighting modification of the Mi-26T helicopter, a machine of choice for the Russian EMERCOM. It is equipped with VSU-15, a system designed to carry up to 19.6 tons of water externally and drop it within 15 seconds onto a fire or into ground-based containers. The crew can fill the bucket in 10 seconds from open bodies of water as shallow as 1 m while hovering.

In a 5-minute cycle, 1 litre of water delivered will cost $0.05 (fixed-wing aircraft – about $0.33—0.55). Russian-made heavy firefighting helicopters have shown good results in
Greece, Turkey, Italy, Spain, South Korea in wildfire fighting over large areas. With their use, damages from fires were brought down by 83—85%.
VSU-5 – a similar system at three times smaller capacity – was made for medium helicopters of the Mi-8/17 family. The Lesnik simulator system has been updated to imitate turbulence common to wildfire locations, allowing efficient crew training. All necessary updates were made by the simulator manufacturer in cooperation with Russian Helicopters. To simulate water drops from an external frame Lesnik is fitted with an additional seat for the operator of the external frame and wrench.

Russian Helicopters, JSC is an affiliated company of UIC Oboronprom. It is the managing body of the following helicopter industry enterprises: Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, Kamov, Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, Kazan Helicopters, Rostvertol, Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company, Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise, Vpered Moscow Machine-Building Plant, Stupino Machine Production Plant, Reductor-PM , Helicopter Service Company (VSK), Novosibirsk Aircraft Repairing Plant and Ural Works of Civil Aviation.

Partners of Russian Helicopters: AirTaxi Service (interior completions and maintenance); R.E.T. Kronshtadt (sea and aviation training systems, military navigation and avionics); Tranzas (software, navigation systems, aviation simulators); BETA AIR (testing equipment and aviation electronics).

UIC Oboronprom, JSC is a multi-profile industrial and investment group established in 2002. Its main tasks include helicopter engineering (Russian Helicopters managing company), engine-building (United Engine Industry Corporation managing company), air defense systems and complex electronic systems (Defense Systems holding company), and other machine-building activities. The companies of the group reported revenues of over 130 billion roubles in 2009.

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