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Dubai Airshow 2021: Russia unveils upgraded Ka-226T rotorcraft

The upgraded Ka-226T helicopter has been named Climber because of its superior performance at altitude. (Nikolai Novichkov)

The extensively upgraded Kamov Ka-226T light utility helicopter was unveiled at the Dubai Airshow 2021 being held from 14 to 18 November.

A representative of Rostec's Russian Helicopters told Janes that the rotorcraft is designated ‘Climber' because of its high altitude performance in the mountains.

The modernised Ka-226T has become the first Russian helicopter to be digitally designed. The Ka-226T Climber features an updated layout with improved aerodynamic performance. Its fuselage has been made with the use of modern lightened composites, while the control and electric subsystems have been improved. The rotorcraft has received a shockproof fuel subsystem and larger fuel tanks with centralised refuelling capability.

The platform has been fitted with new navigation and communications hubs. The weight of its fuselage has been reduced by 400 kg. The co-axial main rotor scheme provides high controllability in thin air, resistance to heavy side winds, high rate of climb, and capability to land at helipads in high mountains. The Ka-226T has received a new main rotor mast, blades, and a main reduction gear. The rotorcraft is capable of functioning at heights of up to 6.5 km. The helicopter can also be operated in maritime environments and land at even small vessels.

The Ka-226T demonstrated at the Dubai Airshow 2021 is powered by two Arrius 2G1 580-hp turboshaft engines, which are planned to be replaced by the Klimov VK-650V 650-hp powerplant. Approximately 20% of the VK-650V's components will be 3D-printed.

The Ka-226T has a maximum take-off weight of 3,600 kg, payload of 1,000 kg, top speed of 250 km/h, cruise speed of 200, and a range of 560 km.

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