Mi-2 production to restart – in China

Mi-2 production to restart – in China 6 Feb, 12, Source: HeliHub.com

While the Mi-2 was a Russian design, only the prototypes first flew in that country.  All the other 5,500 aircraft were produced by PZL at their plant in Swidnik, Poland, starting in 1966.  Production has now ceased there, although some overhauls are still done – including a current batch for the Polish Air Force.

It was announced in Russia earlier today that a new production line is expected to start running in China in July 2012, with a new agreement between Rostvertol and Chinese Xi’Ao Aeroplane Manufacturing Company.  It is unclear how Rostvertol is in a position to make such a deal, unless the agreement with PZL in Poland had a finite time limit or they handed back the licence under which they were producing Mi-2 helicopters.  When HeliHub.com asked AgustaWestland, parent company of PZL-Swidnik, they were unaware of the new agreement, and only able to confirm that no new Mi-2s had been built in Poland for some time.

Located in Hubei Province, the plant represents a reported investment of 1.4 billion yuan (US $224 million), and will eventually reach a production rate of 100 helicopters per year.  Unspecified changes are being made to the design, which will now be known as the Mi-2A.  The facility will also be the primary repair and overhaul base for Asian based Mi-2s – although frankly we cannot find many in that direction except in Myanmar and the eastern reaches of Russia!  Perhaps it will also service Mi-2s in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgystan?

Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com

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