Mi-172 [Mi-8MTV-2 / Mi-8MTV-3]
The Mi-8MTV-1 (Mi-17-1V) was followed in the 1990s by new baseline versions, the Mi-8MTV-2 and Mi-8MTV-3 manufactured at Kazan Helicopter Plant, JSC. Their cargo hold could accommodate 30 troops instead of 24. These machines had enhanced armour protection and updated systems. The Mi-8MTV-3 had only four hard points instead of six, yet the number of possible external stores combinations was increased from 8 to 24. The helicopters were fitted with an anti-torque rotor with increased-chord blades and increased-stiffness control rods; they were equipped with a system for dropping cargoes without parachutes and with an onboard hoist of greater capacity.
In 1991 the Mi-8MTV-3 served as a prototype for the Mi-172 export version which achieved Indian certification in 1994 according to US FAR-29 airworthiness regulations. The helicopter certified in Russia was given the name of Mi-172A. All the improvements tried and tested on these variants were incorporated in the new Mi-17M demonstrator. In addition to that, the latter model featured an international navigation system and an improved radar; the width of the postern doors was increased, and the rear hatch of the cargo hold was remade similar to that of the Mi-26, i.e. featuring smaller-size clamshell doors and a lowering walkway ramp.
Under a contract signed with a Canadian firm the joint modification designated Mi-17KF was developed. It incorporated the avionics from the Western Europe, arranged in glass cockpit-like configuration.
The Mi-17M demonstration model served as a baseline version for the development in 1997 of a new basic modification Mi-8MTV-5 (Mi-17V-5), making great progress in the international aircraft market. The major differences between the baseline Mi-8MTV-5 and previous versions are new up-to-date configurations and airframe structure. The helicopter has fitted an additional starboard clamshell door, the width of the port side door was increased enough, the clamshell doors of the rear hatch of cargo hold were replaced by the lowering walkway ramp with the hydraulic extension and retraction system, the number of the seats for troops was increased up to 36. Now the troops can leave the helicopter in three groups through two doors and a walkway ramp as soon as within 15 seconds. The expanded port side door also enables to apply a new rescue device with incorporated hoist of 300 kg of cargo capacity, making it possible to lift on board the rotorcraft up to three people at a time. The build-in-the-floor big hatch enables to apply the exterior store system of 4.5 tonnes of cargo capacity.
The forward part of the helicopter has been fully remade. It has been given the modern day configuration with integral lifting-up fairing, under which a weather radar and new radio equipment can be installed. The Mi-8MTV-5 has got fitted the upgraded AHRS (attitude and heading reference system) and the crew's cockpit is adapted for the NVG application, which enables the operation of the helicopter in different weather conditions, in any season of the year and anytime. There have been also made essential changes in the structure of other types of equipment, in particular, there has been incorporated a new energetic interface based on brushless generators.
The Kazan Helicopter Plant, JSC, is engaged installing on Mi-17-1V, Mi-172 and Mi-17V-5 helicopters the upgraded AHRS including the display system on the basis of MFD similar to that of the glass cockpit with different variants of instrument suites both Russian and foreign-made; the crew's cockpit adapted for the NVG application, enabling the helicopter operation in different weather conditions, in any season and anytime; the power-plant having been fully renovated and incorporating at present the new engines types VK-2500 with 2400 hp of take off power (2700 hp in emergency power conditions); and also auxiliary power unit SAFIR-5K/G of Czech production. Within the mountain tests in Tibet the Mi-17V helicopter fitted with the new power-plant reached the service ceiling of 7950 m and took off and landed at the altitudes of up to 5.5 km. The engine was started at the altitude of 6 km.
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