12:19 14.08.2014

Ukrainian Helicopters Company creates multi-purpose transformer helicopter

3 min read

The Ukrainian Helicopters aviation company has released a series of multi-purpose transformer helicopters designed for a wide range of tasks to support both search and rescue and humanitarian missions.

The first helicopter, which was created on the basis of the Mi-8MTV-1 platform, has been put into operation. It was retrofitted for the United Nations by the Ukrainian Helicopters' own design bureau jointly with Konotop Aircraft Repair Plant Aviakon.

The helicopter's functionality includes search and rescue, medical evacuation, passenger and cargo configurations. The replacement of its modules can be carried out by the crew themselves, and this takes only an hour-and-a-half or less.

"This is the CIS's sole helicopter with a number of unique functions," Ukrainian Helicopters Deputy Director Hryhoriy Kryvoshiya said. Firstly, the helicopter is able to fly and perform complex missions at night. Its search and rescue spotlight, combined with the latest optic and electronic tracking system, is able to conduct visual surveillance at a distance of one kilometer, and up to two kilometers in the infrared mode. Its digital system is able to detect an object at a distance of 17 kilometers and a human being at a distance of at least 10 kilometers. The identification of the human being is done within a 2-4 kilometer radius.

Secondly, the helicopter has a powerful hoisting gear winch with a lifting capacity of 270 kg, which is able to function at a height of up to 88 m. It has a device for the emergency descent of a rescue team in autonomous mode.

Finally, the helicopter is equipped with a convertible medical unit with a full complement of intensive care equipment. It includes a lung motor, a defibrillator, a cardiograph, a syringe pump for dispensing medication in extreme conditions, monitors, aspirator pumps, and many other devices. All medical equipment is produced by leading international brands, Kryvoshiya said.

The helicopter is a 16-seater. Its specialized cargo compartment can carry 3.5 tonnes of cargo, or the same amount of cargo can be transported in an external hook-up sling.

The cab and passenger compartment are covered by Kevlar mats capable of protecting the helicopter from firing from 7.62 mm machine guns.

"The latest avionics, Kevlar protection, and other innovative technologies, along with its multi-purpose functionality, constitute a competitive advantage for the new helicopter," Ukrainian Helicopters Technical Director Vitaliy Yakovenko said.

"The safety of the crew and damage-proof equipment are key indicators, whereas the implemented innovations of the transformer helicopter are to significantly improve our competitiveness in the international helicopter transportation market. The Ukrainian Helicopters Company is one of the leaders here. And we have the potential of a significant increase in the quality of service and safety," Ukrainian Helicopters CEO Oleksandr Bosov said.

The total sum of retrofitting is UAH 55 million per helicopter. Four helicopters are planned to be retrofitted.

Ukrainian Helicopters plans to demonstrate the new transformer helicopter to media soon as part of a scheduled press tour.

Ukrainian Helicopters has been on the market since 2003. It is a UN accredited operator in the zones of hostilities and natural disasters. The company's crews perform humanitarian missions in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. As part of its cooperation the company has transported over 478,000 refugees and peacekeepers and 22.3 tonnes of humanitarian cargo.

The company's performance has been repeatedly acknowledged with gratitude from the United Nations and the governments of partner countries. The latest gratitude for the quality of service came on August 8, 2014, from the OSCE for transportation of a special monitoring mission to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 Flight MH17.