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Mi-38 Medium Multipurpose Helicopter

For military transport vehicles it is not so much the speed that is important as the volume of the cargo compartment and the range. For this role of the Defense Ministry has already looked at the promising Mi-38 transporter, which will occupy a niche between the mid-sized modernized Mi-17s and heavy Mi-26s.

The Mil Mi-38, being developed by the Moscow Helicopter Plant, is intended to replace the large in-service fleet of Mi-8/Mi-17 medium helicopters, and to take over some of the tasks which are now carried out by aging Mil Mi-6s. The Mi-38 helicopter can fully phase out the Mi-17 and, partially, the Mi-6. The Mi-38 multi-role medium-range helicopter is intended to airlift passengers and cargoes, as well as to perform forest-relating work, construction and erection work, handling tasks, SAR operations and emergency missions, execute ambulance and evacuation missions, run geological explorations and make use of its comfortable interior.

The 30-seat, 5-ton payload Mi-38 helicopter capable of carrying external loads of up to 7 tons. The M-38 makes use of technology tested on the Mil Mi-28 attack helicopter, inheriting the latter's main rotor and transmission.

The Mi-38 helicopter meets FAR-29 requirements and European JAR-29, category A and B. The engine of the helicopter has been developed by Pratt-Whitney/Rus and is being designed to meet the requirements of European JAR-E Regulations. The helicopter is intended for day and night operation, under any weather conditions in a range of temperatures from - 60C up to + 50C.

The following versions are to be manufactured:

  • VIP version - for transporting of 12 passengers over range up to 700 km;
  • transport version - for carrying of 30 passengers over range up to 450 km, transportation up to 5 tons inside the helicopter over range of up to 400 km, transporting loads up to 7 tons on an external cargo sling, transporting combined passenger and cargo loads;
  • medevac version - for evacuation up to 16 wounded on stretchers.

Other versions of the helicopter will fulfill the following roles: servicing offshore platforms and transporting passengers and loads over the sea; search and rescue missions; construction tasks (including those requiring high accuracy). The high performance and efficient fuel consumption provides the Mi-38 with significant advantages over other helicopters of its class. It is equipped with new PW - 127 T/S engines, each rated at 2500 h.p. and developed by joint venture Pratt-Whitney/Rus on the basis of the PW127 engine already in serial production.

The Mi-38 helicopter has the following design features: new electronic indication system based on colour displays, digital stand-by auto pilot with gauge data processing system, modern radio communications equipment. High level of automation provides one-pilot operation New technical features that are incorporated in the Mi-38 helicopter include: composite blades with increased service life, aerodynamic fuselage configuration, anti-vibration crew seats, increased volume of a cargo compartment etc.

Mi-38 helicopter is capable of flying different missions such as transportation of passengers and cargoes, forestry engineering, construction and installation, exploration, cargo handling, SAR, wrecking, medical aid and evacuation of the seek people. It can be also used as a comfortable passenger cabin. The helicopter is fitted out with a ditching system. The Mi-38 is designed for round-the-clock operation under different weather and climatic conditions within the temperature range from -50 up to +60 C.

The Mi-38 is the helicopter of the classic single-rotor design with six- bladed main rotor, four-bladed X-shaped tail rotor and all-movable stabilizer. Its aerodynamic design enables to minimize the harmful air resistance of the fuselage. The fuselage structure includes three-layer panels and composite parts. The main and tail rotor blades are of glass-fiber materials. Their lifetime is practically unlimited. The flight tests proved high aerodynamic performance. The main rotor hub with elastomeric bearings requires no maintenance. The tail rotor design is similar to the one tried-and-true of Mi-28 helicopter. When developing the units and systems the designers paid special attention to maintainability. To compare with Mi-8 helicopter, the labor intensity of maintenance has been reduced more than twice. The life assigned to the structure of the units and systems exceeds 4-6 times the one of the similar elements of Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopters.

When designing and building the Mi-38, Russian helicopter manufacturers made good use of the experience gained during manufacturing and operation of the world famous Mi-8/17 family of rotorcrafts, which is to be succeeded by a new helicopter. The potentials assigned to the Mi-38 will make it possible not only to enrich the fleet of these beautiful and reliable "Mil workhorses" , but replace the Mi-6 and Mi-10 heavy class helicopters to cope with heavy-duty tasks. This will be provided by bigger dimensions of cargo cabin (8.7x2.34x1.82=29.5m3) and significantly increased lifting capacity of the new helicopter. The Mi-38 will be capable of lifting up to 6 tons of load inside the cargo cabin and up to 7 tons on external sling.

The spacious cabin of the passenger version provides space for 30 seats, galley-unit, baggage compartment and lavatory. Ambulance version enables to accommodate 16 stretchers. The cabin equipment and its arrangement provides maximum comfort. Large aft cargo ramp, the right side wide sliding door and the left side door with the ramp and interior cargo handling equipment make cargo handling handy as well as provide for prompt evacuation from the helicopter also facilitated by the system of emergency exits and hatches Near the right side door the hoist of 300 kg. of lifting capacity is designed. Wheel-track machinery can be driven in on the ramp. The helicopter cockpit was designed concurrently with conducting long lasting mock-up researches, which led to successful results: good flight visibility and high ergonomical characteristics, enabling one pilot to fly the helicopter fitted out with the latest avionics. The co-pilot will be needed when carrying passengers. The newest electronics will help to do without any flight engineer.

Up-to-date safety requirements were embodied in the Mi-38. The rear mounting of the engines provides not only noise reduction but also increases safety level in emergency landing. Four-stepped main gear box keeps on working for not less than half an hour after oil system failure. Control system is equipped with dual- chamber hydraulic actuators. All main helicopter systems are backed up by triple redundancy. Six capacious fuel tanks, mounted under the cargo floor, are designed fire-safe and even falling from the height of 15 m the fuel will not spill thus preventing fire danger.

Landing gear as well as crew seats are provided with shock-absorption systems which increase safety level under rough landing. The Mi-38 is equipped with ditching system, which guarantees flight safety over water basins.

The helicopter will be fitted out with up-to-date integrated avionics. Five multifunctional color displays will screen flight data. Besides that, integrated avionics will incorporate weather radar, integrated flight control and navigation system, vehicle monitoring system (VMS), registration and maintenance system, four-channel robot pilot, full authority digital engine controller (FADEC), weight and balance system, night flight systems, etc.

Conformity with Russian Aviation Regulations AP-29 , European - JAR - 29 and the USA - FAR - 29, designed high reliability and safety, long life, on-condition operation and very comfortable environment for pilots and passengers - all these facts make Mi-38 helicopter exclusively perspective in the world helicopter market.

The new air control center will be created on the basis of the Mi-38 helicopter, Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Alexei Krivoruchko told reporters 30 May 2019 during a visit to the Polet scientific-production enterprise. NPP Polet had established itself as a supplier of reliable aviation communication systems at various levels. This year we plan to open new work with Polot to create an air control center based on the Mi-38 helicopter, he said. Krivoruchko noted that "Flight" is prematurely delivering to the Ministry of Defense various radio communication systems, as well as is deeply modernizing the on-board equipment of the Il-22M11 air command post and the Tu-142MR repeater aircraft.

The Mi-38 helicopter has high flight performance, a progressive and reliable design of helicopter systems, and integrated on-board equipment. The main structural elements of the fuselage are made of aluminum alloys and composite materials, the individual components and parts are made of steel and titanium. Highly efficient engines, an advanced load-bearing system and high power-to-weight ratio ensure efficient operation of the helicopter in a wide range of operating conditions, and on-board equipment allows helicopter flights to be carried out day and night in various climatic and weather conditions.

The key criterion implemented during the creation of the Mi-38 helicopter is to ensure the highest level of flight safety. The layout of the fuselage, the size and number of emergency exits, the possibility of emergency evacuation through large extruded windows, as well as energy-absorbing seats and chassis, the ability to operate the main gearbox without oil for half an hour, three-fold redundancy of the helicopter control hydraulic system and emergency fuel system ensure that the most stringent international aviation requirements are met safety standards.

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Page last modified: 25-10-2021 17:29:38 ZULU