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KA-27 Helix A

Ka-27, Kamov 'Helix-A is an improved version of the Ka-25. The fuselage was redesigned to give a large increase in cabin room, with only a small increasse in external dimensions. This allows the Ka-27 to operate from the same ships as the Ka-25. As the 1960s drew to a close, the need arose for a new shipboard anti-submarine warfare helicopter to replace the Soviet Navy's main ASW chopper, the Kamov Ka-25 which was becoming obsolescent. The objective was to greatly increase the payload, internal volume and engine power while still allowing the helicopter to use the same deck helipads and shipboard hangars.

The design bureau led by Nikolay Il'yich Kamov started work on the new ASW helicopter in 1969. Given the size requirements, the engineers logically chose to retain the preceding model's contra-rotating rotor layout - a feature which had been a Kamov "trademark" from the start. Initially designated Ka-252 (though the designation was later changed to Ka-27), the prototype made its first hover on 8th August 1973 and the first free flight on 24th December 1973 [1974?]. After a period of rigorous testing the helicopter officially entered service with the Soviet Navy in 1981.

The KA-27 helicopter is intended to be used for search-rescue provision of aircraft flights over the sea and the land, and also for provision of emergency-rescue operations at the disasters of ships and vessels, at day and night time, in simple and complicated weather conditions at the sea roughness up to 5 number, alone and in combination with ships. To carry out rescue operations, the helicopter is equipped with the winch with lifting capacity 300 kg.

The flight-navigation complex of the helicopter allows to conduct an automatically controlled flight of the helicopter according to the pre-set route, a landing of the helicopter on deck a ship and an unloading of the ship without the stoppage of the latter, an autonomous hovering of the helicopter over the pre-determined point, and together with the radar "Osminog", leading out of the helicopter into the point of the flight pre-set by the pilot.

An inflatable ballonnet system ensures the floatage of the helicopter in case of its emergency landing on the water surface. The blade folding mechanism allows to considerably diminish the overall dimensions of the helicopter at its storage in the hangars of the ships and aerodromes.

The KA-27PS is intended for fulfilling of search and rescue operations and transport transportation at sea and on dry land. High flight-performance data of helicopter and the perfect equipment ensure the fulfillment of the endurance flight above aqueous the surface without reference points and the search for above-water objects at the significant removal from the ship of basing. Onboard radio-electronic complex provides automatic control of helicopter in flight according to route and precise output of helicopter into the calculation point.

The KA-27PS helicopter is equipped with all necessary means of the group and individual rescuing of victims. For lifting the victim onboard the helicopter is established the controlled by hydraulics lifting boom with the electric hoist by load capacity 300 kg. for the transport of large-dimension loads on the helicopter KA-27PS additionally it is established the system of external suspension. Helicopter is equipped with the system of the storing of blades for the arrangement in the deck and bilge hangars. For guaranteeing the buoyancy in the case of emergency landing on the aqueous surface the helicopter is supplied [bystronapolnyaemymi] with air by ballonets. Helicopter is capable to accomplish takeoff and landing on the limited ship area with the tossing + -10

The design turned out to be extremely versatile, and specialised versions began appearing before long. The original Ka-27PL ASW chopper was supplemented by the Ka-27PS search and rescue version, the Ka-28 export variant supplied to friendly nations, the civil Ka-32, the armoured Ka-29 assault helicopter for the Soviet Marines and the Ka-31 airborne early warning version with its unusual rotating radar antenna stowed under the belly when not in use. The civil version found use in such varied roles as long line operations and heli-logging, ice patrol and ship support, firefighting, law enforcement and flying crane operations, with specialised sub-variants appearing accordingly. The considerable capabilities of the Ka-32 quickly earned it recognition in the West, attracting orders from such nations as Canada, Switzerland and South Korea, which were certainly not among the usual buyers of Russian hardware.

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