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Russia designing 500 km/hr helicopter

Superfast Kamov coaxial helicopter under development for civilian and military users.

The Russians have confirmed that the Kamov Bureau – designer of Russia’s famous coaxial helicopters such as the KA-52 helicopter gunship – are working on a superfast helicopter capable of flying at speeds of 500 km/hr.  That compares with the 350 km/hr speed achieved by the KA-52.

This is how Director of the Aviation Industry Department at Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry Sergei Yemelyanov described the programme on Tuesday 16th May 2017

Two types of work are currently under way. It has already been determined that a helicopter based on the monoaxial scheme can develop a speed of 450 km/hr. Higher speeds can’t be achieved so far using the monoaxial scheme. At the same time, the Kamov design bureau is developing a coaxial machine to have a speed of over 500 km/hr. This is being done in the interests of the Defense Ministry.  A flying laboratory has been developed as part of a promising fast-speed helicopter to test all the innovations.

That coaxial helicopters are capable of ultra high speeds is well known, and Russia is far from unique in working on superfast versions of these helicopters.  The US company Sikorsky Aircraft has also been working on such a concept.

The Russians however have the advantage of far greater experience with coaxial helicopters.  Against that their helicopter programmes have in recent years proceeded at an extremely slow pace as the industry gradually recovers from the post-Soviet chaos.  It remains to be seen whether the Russians will be able to bring this programme to fruition.

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