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Kamov Ka-22

Transport Gyrodyne Helicopter

Kamov Ka-22

Transport Gyrodyne Helicopter


Intended to feature the qualities of both a fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter, the experimental - and lethal - Kamov Ka-22 was only built in four examples.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Soviet Union
YEAR: 1959
MANUFACTURER(S): Kamov - Soviet Union
OPERATORS: Soviet Union

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Kamov Ka-22 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 88.58 feet (27 meters)
WIDTH: 73.82 feet (22.5 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 62,170 pounds (28,200 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 93,696 pounds (42,500 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Soloviev D-25VK turboshaft engines developing 5,425 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 233 miles-per-hour (375 kilometers-per-hour; 202 knots)
RANGE: 280 miles (450 kilometers; 243 nautical miles)
CEILING: 18,045 feet (5,500 meters; 3.42 miles)



Series Model Variants
• Ka-22 - Base Series Designation


Detailing the development and operational history of the Kamov Ka-22 Transport Gyrodyne Helicopter.  Entry last updated on 5/5/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
Since the prospect of vertical flight became established during the 1940s and evolved throughout the 1950s by way of the "helicopter", aviation engineers had sought to combine the vertical flight capabilities of such aircraft with the horizontal performance of a traditional aeroplane. The Soviets envisioned such a design in the heavy transport role, perhaps serving both military and civilian markets, and capable of taking-off and landing thousands of pounds of supplies or passengers.

The charge eventually fell to the Kamov helicopter concern which was already a proven developer of many rotary-wing designs to date. The Vertical Take-Off and Horizontal Flight (VTOHF) attempt was through their unique Ka-22 model, classified as a "gyrodyne", and produced across four prototypes during its development phase. The aircraft first flew in tethered form on August 15th, 1959 though it did not lead to a serial production form for the program was cancelled in August 12th of 1964 after two fatal crashes. The heavy-lift helicopter role was eventually filled by more conventional means through a competitor's design.

Design work on the Ka-22 began during 1954 and the resulting product interested Soviet authorities enough to order several prototypes. Development then proved slow for many technological challenges arose that would delay first flight. Work continued into the middle of the decade at which point four flyable prototypes were now contracted for. During its first flight, the Ka-22 exhibited several inherent flaws that required engineers to revise and install fixes - some simply to make her safe to fly.

Kamov engineers elected for a deep, rectangular fuselage to serve the intended cargo role while also support avionics, fuel stores, and the cockpit. The fuselage featured a glazed nose section (hinged to allow internal access) and a raised tail unit. With its high-mounted wings, the aircraft allowed nfettered movement by ground personnel all about the design. The tail unit was highly conventional with its single vertical fin and low-set horizontal planes. Engines were fitted in nacelles found at each wingtip and a combination engine approach was used - a pair of helicopter rotor blades provided the needed vertical flight and puller propeller units gave the aircraft its forward flight (this gave the aircraft its gyrodyne classification). The undercarriage was fixed and arranged as a three-point, wheeled support system. The cockpit was sat high above and slightly aft of the nose section which offered the flight crew a commanding view around the aircraft. The Ka-22 certainly had its own identifiable look for the period and its rather utilitarian approach was a Soviet design signature.

As completed, Ka-22 was to ferry up to 100 passengers or heavy cargo load - it was not armed for its transport role in any way. Dimensions included a length of 27 meters with wingspan of 22.5 meters and weights included 62,170lbs when empty and a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) nearing 93,700lbs.In the first prototype, power was served through 2 x Kuznetsov TV-2VK engines developing 5,900 horsepower. Subsequent prototypes all fielded 2 x Soloviev D-25VK turboshaft engines developing 5,424 horsepower. Each engine drove a pair of 65.6 foot diameter main rotors as well as four-bladed, variable-pitch propeller units. Performance included a maximum speed of 233 miles per hour with a range out to 280 miles and a service ceiling of 18,050 feet.

The optimistic Ka-22 development program would only last a few short years however. It did prove itself a record-setting world design, setting no fewer than eight records in its time aloft. It was first showcased during Moscow Aviation Day 1961 which also proved the West's first look at the unique Soviet machine. Its undoing came through a pair of unfortunate, and tragic, crashes - the first prototype was lost in a fatal crash on August 28th, 1962 and the third was lost to a crash a year later on August 12th - only three of her crew survived. From these fatal flights came word that the Ka-22 would go on unsupported and this naturally proved the death knell for the Ka-22 product - it was eventually given up by Kamov itself - leaving only the second and forth prototypes. This pair was eventually scrapped bringing a complete end to the Ka-22 program.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (233mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Kamov Ka-22's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.