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Dubai Airshow 2019: Tawazun takes stake in VR-Technologies

19 November 2019
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VR-Technologies is developing the VRT-500 helicopter as a response to urban transport challenges. Source: IHS Markit/Charles Forrester

The UAE’s Tawazun is to take a 50% stake in Russian Helicopters subsidiary VR-Technology, the two companies announced on 18 November.

Russian Helicopters plans to invest approximately EUR400 million (USD442.6 million) in the company, Russian Helicopters general manager Andrey Boginskiy told Jane’s .

VR-Technologies designs and develops helicopters and unmanned rotary-wing aircraft. The company has been focusing its development of rotary-wing aircraft on a new helicopter for the urban mobility market. Called the VRT-500, the light single-engine helicopter is being designed to fulfil a number of roles, such as air taxi. Featuring co-axial rotors and clam-shell rear doors, the helicopter will feature a metallic frame with composite skin to speed certification. The first flight of the VRT-500 will take place in 2020, with the company aiming for a type certification by the end of 2022. VR-Technologies will establish a production facility outside Rome, Italy, for the helicopter.

The company also plans to fit the VRT-500 with an electric motor and battery to provide an emergency redundancy flight time. Currently, issues with engine redundancy limit single-engine helicopter operations over urban environments.

“There was a strong interest from Tawazun in this project, based on the growth of cities in the future. The helicopter has a small rotor blade diameter, and is safer because there is no tail rotor,” Boginsky added.

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