16-Dec-2021 Source: HeliHub.com
Local reports indicate that work by Russian Helicopters on installing a different engine model in the Kamov Ka226T is progressing slower than expected, probably as a result of the pandemic slow-down. Flight tests of the UEC-Klimov VK-650V engine on the light multirole Ka-226T helicopter will start in 2023, chief engine program designer Anastasia Solovyova told industry journalists on Monday.
The VK-650V engine, as its name suggests, has a rating of 650hp, and is currently undergoing engineering trials and design validation. The program for this new engine ramps up in 2022 with bench testing and preliminary confirmation of all characteristics and confirmation of all scoring parameters for submission of certification documentation. The engine type certificate is expected in 2023, and the aircraft type certificate with the VK-650V engine is expected to follow 6-12 months later, around a year later than originally planned.
The move is seen as part of the ongoing move across the country’s aviation industry to support indigenous products and remove any dependence on subcontractors located outside Russia. The Ka226T is currently powered by two Safran Arrius 2G1 engines, which have a maximum continuous power rating of 580 hp. All western engine manufacturers, including Safran, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney, would have been able to offer suitable ready-certified alternatives “off the shelf”. Russia’s focus on its own industry has also seen helicopter re-engine projects to move away from Motor Sich power plants, made in the Ukraine.