Russian Helicopters has completed the first serial production example of its modernised Mil Mi-171A2 at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, with three more of the 13t rotorcraft in final assembly.
The initial batch of four helicopters will be transferred to the launch customer before year-end, says the manufacturer.
It has yet to gain certification for the latest version of the long-running Mi-8/-17 line, but flight tests using two prototypes are continuing and the milestone is expected in August, the company has indicated.
Although retaining its familiar shape, the fuselage of the Mi-171A2 has been streamlined, and coupled with high-power Klimov VK2500PS engines – each rated at 2,400shp (1,790kW) – an improved transmission, and new composite main rotor blades, maximum speed is increased to 150kt (280km/h). Additionally, its external payload rises to 5t.