Russia’s United Engine Corporation (UEC) has begun testing the VK-650V engine, which is planned to replace the Safran Arrius 2G1 powerplant that powers the Ka-226T and Ansat-U light helicopters.

The power plant, which has no analogues in Russia, has been successfully launched at the UEC-Klimov test bench in St. Petersburg.

At the moment, specialists have completed the first of the four parts of the test program: they carried out the first launch, evaluated the key parameters of the product, and adjusted the joint operation of the stand and engine systems. During the tests, the parameters of the demonstrator were continuously recorded and its condition was assessed. Based on the results of tests on stands and autonomous installations, the technical characteristics of the engine and the possibility of using it as part of a helicopter for the transition to the next stage will be confirmed.

“Modern approaches to the design and manufacture of the engine, including the use of 3D printing, made it possible to produce a demonstrator and start testing as scheduled. The engine started the first time, the expected performance during the first start was confirmed. This is the beginning of a long journey that we have to go very quickly. The result will be Russia’s first serial engine for light helicopters, such as Ansat-U and Ka-226T,” said Anatoly Serdyukov, industrial director of the aviation cluster of Rostec State Corporation.

The new engine is nearly 12% 3D-printed parts, which has accelerated the production of the demonstrator.

In addition to the UEC-Klimov, the All-Russian Research Institute of Aviation Materials, the Central Institute of Aviation Motors named after V.I. P.I. Baranova, Ufa Engine-Building Production Association, PC “Salut”, Moscow Machine-Building Enterprise named after V.V. Chernyshev and a number of other enterprises responsible for the design and manufacture of parts and assemblies.

The VK-650V engine has a take-off power of 650 hp and is designed to operate as part of the Russian Ka-226T light-class helicopters. It is also possible to install its modifications on the Ansat-U and VRT-500 helicopters and foreign helicopters of the same payload class. The type certificate for the VK-650V engine is planned to be obtained in 2023.

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