In 1993, a Design Bureau was established at Kazan Helicopters. Its goal was to produce a light multi-purpose helicopter. The name in Tatar language variously translated as easy, simple, ethereal and light. The Ansat is a light helicopter that can be used for a wide variety of military purposes - as a patrol helicopter for border guards and the Interior Ministry, and as a military helicopter for the Armed Forces. It can also be sold simply as a light helicopter for private use. Great value recently is given to creation of light multi-purpose helicopters with load capacity about a thousand kgs. The two Russian entries in this field are Ansat and Ka-60. According to Kazan Helicopter Plant (KVZ) specialists, world market demand for light helicopters will exceed 2,000 in the period from 1999 to the year 2010. World market demand for the 9-seat helicopters with the take-off weight of 3,300 kilograms is likely to be between 600 and 900.
Ansat-U (uchebni = training)
On 14 September 2001, Ansat was declared the winner of a competition to supply 100 training helicopters to Russian armed forces by 2015 (beating Mi-34 and Ka-226). The Defence Ministry is buying three Ansat helicopters in 2007 as training craft, together with simulator equipment for training students at the Syzran Helicopter Academy. The Kazan Helicopter Plant is to supply 6 Ansat-U helicopters to the Russian air forces in 2009. Ansat will become a main training helicopter for the Air Force after the completion of state joint tests and experimental operation of it in the army. The testing of Ansat will last a year and half or two years in order to receive the training helicopter. The training version of the Ansat helicopter will enter service with Russia's Air Force by 2010, once government tests and initial operation with military units have been completed. During this period of time it has yet to be duly prepared for training purposes. "The Air Force will need 25-30 Ansat machines immediately, and then the number will increase," Maj. Gen. Viktor Ivanov, head of the Armed Forces Army Aviation Directorate, said in January 2008. Beside the Ansat helicopter the Kasatka (Ka-60) helicopter is also planned to be used as a trainer helicopter.
The training modification of the Ansat Helicopter can be used for training of aviation colleges' cadets and civil persons, as well as for pilots' retraining. The installation of two gas-turbine engines and redundancy of main helicopter components provide the highest safety level required for training flights. The Ansat is the only Russian helicopter equipped with digital fly-by-wire control system (KSU-A), which allows to imitate engine shut off-mode without switching the engines off. A training modification of Ansat Helicopter which is being created now will be equipped with a wheel landing gear and a dual control system. At present, scientific and design research is being carried out to make a helicopter for Russia's Civil Operators. In April 2004, the assembly of the first prototype of Ansat-U training version was completed.
Ansat-N [nablyudatel = observation)
A mockup of proposed Ansat Nablyudatel (Ansat Observation) scout helicopter based on Ansat was shown at Moscow Salon in August 2001. GOES 521 turret in nose with Svishch sensors integrated by Optooil ZAO.
Ansat-RC / Ansat-2RT [armed light reconnaissance]
In July 2005, the Kazan Helicopter Plant (KVZ) started flight testing of the new tandem-seat Ansat-RC [aka Ansat-2RT] armed light reconnaissance helicopter. Two weeks later, this helicopter was exhibited and flown in public for the first time at the MAKS-2005 Moscow air show. The no. 1 prototype of Ansat's military version features the Canadian manufacturer's PW-207K engines. The light reconnaissance Ansat-RC is the first Russian military helicopter powered by foreign engine. The demonstrator carries a range of inert weapons and mockups of related systems.
Dubbed the -2RT, the reconnaissance and target designation aircraft was designed under a company-funded armed reconnaissance helicopter initiative. The Ansat-2RT is equipped with four stub wing mounted pylons, enabling it to carry up to four Igla air-to-air missiles and two 58mm unguided rocket launchers. The glass cockpit-equipped aircraft also carries a semi-recessed 12.7mm machine gun on its starboard side, two UV-26 flare dispensers and a TOES-521 gyro-stabilised sensor with a laser rangefinder designator and forward-looking infrared and TV sensors. Kazan's Ansat-2RT has a maximum speed of 160kt (300km/h) and a range of up to 650km (350nm).
Ansat - Civilian
The Ansat is a single-rotor helicopter with anti-torque rotor. Its fuselage is made of aluminium alloys and has four entrance doors. Cargo loading/unloading can be performed through the main cabin doors or through the baggage compartment rear door. The transparent cabin windows and nose-cone are made of glass reinforced heat-hardened plastic. The fuselage nose-cone may house a radar. The fuselage has a smooth floor running through both pilots' and main cabins. The height of the floor bay is 350 mm which permits installation of equipment. The inner area of the main cabin is 6.5 m3, which is one of the largest for a helicopter of its class (3.5 MT). In future, this will enable development of various modifications.
The Design Bureau of KHP designed the light multipurpose helicopter, ANSAT, with two engines, in accordance with both domestic aircraft regulations, AP-29, and the international standards set out under FAR-29. With maximum take-off weight of 3300 kg, it is possible to lift (via Transport Version) 1300 kg of useful load for distances up to 520 km at 240 km/hr, with flight duration of only 3 hours 20 minutes. Cargo of 1650 kg may be carried over distances up to 100 km. Flight distances and duration naturally are dependant upon height, climatic conditions, helicopter speed and cargo mass. The Helicopter has a service ceiling of 5500 - 6000 m depending on take-off weight and hovering ceiling of 1800-2700 m. Operating range in Emergency Rescue Version, given that the flight should be performed at maximum speed, is between 190-210 km. Ferrying range of empty helicopter is 620 km. Usage of additional fuel tanks affords increased distance and duration of helicopter.
The first prototypes are powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW-206C turbine engines. The baseline aircraft will be powered by PW-207 turbine engines with increased thermodynamic power for operation in hot environments. Air intakes may be equipped with sand-protection devices at the customer`s request. The rotorcraft flight structure consists of a four blade main rotor and a two blade anti-torque rotor. The main and anti-torque rotor hubs are hingeless with glass reinforced plastic torsion bars.
The tentative price of the Ansat helicopter powered by two Pratt & Whitney engines is about 1.5 million dollars. Helicopters of this class sell for between four and 4.5 million dollars abroad. The manufacturer finances the Ansat program from its own resources generated by the sales of the Mi-8 helicopters, contract helicopter overhaul and the sales of spares. The government of Tatarstan helps the KVZ by granting it tax benefits. The Kazan helicopter plant earns between 600 million and 800 million a year from the sales of its products and services. KVZ expected to earn two billion roubles in 1999.
In 1994, a technical team was assigned the task of designing light multipurpose twinengine helicopter to meet the perceived need, and scientific research and experimental design work began in order to create a new helicopter designated "ANSAT".
The Ansat light multi-mission helicopter built at the Kazan Helicopter Plant (KVZ) performed its maiden flight in July 1999. The new helicopter's resource tests which have lasted 12 months were over, and another 18 months would be needed to complete the chopper's flight tests and certification, so its production in series will begin not earlier that in the year 2001. With the certificate the plant can launch the serial production of the helicopter. By October 2002 Kazan Helicopters already had contracts for 12 Ansat helicopters, one of them for export.
In 2005 Kazan Helicopter Works confirmed its interest in purchasing Perm Motors transmission systems for the Mi-23 "Ansat" helicopter. To arrange the complete cycle of the gearbox test for this helicopter it was decided to construct a test stand at "Reductor-PM" premises.
In 2007, the production volume of OAO Kazan Helicopters (KVZ) exceeded the level of 2006 by 14.9% reaching US$ 240 million. The company for 2007 manufactured 33 helicopters in 2007, including 1 Ansat helicopter. In 2007, further work was performed on the preproduction of the Ansat helicopter in the full scale of 10-15 helicopters annually. There are plans to expand, within the period of up to 2010, the full-scale production to 25 helicopters annually. The plant is prepared to manufacture some modifications of Ansat: transport; passenger 6-7-seater and executive 4-seater; medical; fire-fighting; agricultural; search and rescue with onboard arm and outboard pylon. In 2007, Laos and South Korea became foreign customers of the Ansat helicopters.
Russia will start exporting Ansat light multipurpose helicopters in 2009. It has been produced in Russia for the domestic market since 2005. "As for Ansat exports, we sold several aircraft to South Korea, but have not concluded any major contracts," Andrei Shibitov, head of helicopter manufacturing group Russian Helicopters, said at the HeliRussia 2008 exhibition currently running in Moscow 15-17 May 2008. "We are holding talks with potential customers in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America," he said.
Kazan Helicopter is looking to scale up its partnership with China as part of plans to produce a new helicopter. Production of the Russian company's Ansat light helicopter will serve as the basis for cooperation. Kazan Helicopters anticipates that the Chinese will be able to manufacture some components for the Ansat themselves, since this will help promote the sale of these helicopters on the potentially lucrative Chinese market.
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