Multi-role Mil From Ukraine
by David Donald - July 12, 2016, 12:10 AM
Formed in 2002, Ukrainian Helicopters (Hall 3 Stand E110) has been flying overhauled Mi-8MTV-1 (Mi-17-1V) helicopters on a range of humanitarian and emergency relief operations under contract to both national and international organizations. After gaining its AOC in 2003, Ukrainian Helicopters undertook its first contract in 2004, fighting fires in Portugal. Since then the company has flown under various UN contracts in many areas of Africa, operating in harsh conditions to deliver aid and perform evacuations.
Through the course of this work, the company has amassed considerable experience of operating the Mi-8/17—the world’s most produced helicopter—in many roles and in many environments. This has enabled it to devise a reconfigurable version that allows the helicopter to be reconfigured by the crew for rescue, passenger transport and other tasks in less than 45 minutes. Known as the Skytransformer, the Mi-8/17 is capable of night operations thanks to night-vision goggles and an under-nose electro-optical sensor turret. The latter can detect a person at night at a range of greater than five miles, making it a useful tool for night SAR. It can also relay imagery to a ground station via a satellite link.
Among Ukrainian Helicopters’ Mi-8/17 innovations are quick-change interiors and night-vision capabilities.
Ukrainian Helicopters has devised a fully equipped medical module that can be installed in the cabin, which can also accommodate seating or cargo. For the rescue role, an enhanced winch is installed with a 262-foot (80-meter) cable rated at 600 pounds (272 kilograms). The winch can be used for rappelling by rescuers in terrain where a landing is not possible. To address the issue of operations in potentially hostile areas, the helicopter has Kevlar panels for ballistic protection, and an anti-missile protection system.