The medium-lift utility helicopter market is a fierce one and it therefore comes as no surprise that there are many participants in the field. Kazan Helicopters of Russia - once a contributor to the many Mil helicopter products - now manages its own direction in helicopter development and manufacture. Following a failed joint venture attempt with Eurocopter, Kazan eventually struck out on its definitive own during the early-to-mid 1990s and formed its own in-house team of engineers with new product goals in mind. One of the resulting designs became a lightweight helicopter platform which achieved first flight on August 17th, 1999. Today, the product is known under the name of "Ansat", features several possible variations on the base design and is poised to generate some interest on the world market - particularly with many medium-lift utility types meeting the end of their useful service lives the world over.
The standard Ansat design features a crew of two seated side-by-side in a typical arrangement. The middle section of the fuselage is accordingly reserved for passengers to which the helicopter can seat up to ten in comfort. Additionally, the cabin can be configuration for various roles - both civilian and military in nature - which adds a quality of modularity to the product. The engine compartment is conventionally set atop the cabin roof and consists of 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PW2-7K turboshafts developing up to 630 horsepower each. The engines drive a four-bladed main rotor and a two-bladed tail rotor with the main rotor sitting atop a short mast while the tail rotor is offset to the starboard side of the aircraft. Large sliding side doors allow for relatively easy entry/exit of the passenger cabin and hinged automobile-style doors are used by the pilots at front. Vision out of the cockpit is expectedly strong thanks to large use of transparent windscreens where possible. The undercarriage is of a skid arrangement which allows the helicopter to land on unprepared surfaces with relative ease.
At least several major prototypes emerged from testing with the first leading the way in ground testing for a static airframe. The next prototype became was a flyable version which marked the line's first official airborne attempt in 1999. A follow-up prototype was identified a lengthened fuselage which increased internal volume and yet another prototype was granted new "clam shell" style doors at the passenger cabin, the lower section used as a handy stair case. The standard Ansat helicopter is listed with a maximum speed of 170 miles per hour with a cruising speed of approximately 155 miles per hour. Range is expected to reach around 335 miles with a service ceiling of 14,760 feet and rate-of-climb nearing 4,250 feet per minute.
Such a broad developmental approach has yielded several notable configurations being offered by Kazan: The "Ansat-U" is a military-minded helicopter trainer that features a dual-control scheme for student and instructor (this version has been accepted by the Russian Air Force as its next helicopter trainer platform). The "Ansat-UT" is another variant though featuring a wheeled undercarriage as opposed to the original's skid assembly. The "Ansat-M" is a MEDEVAC platform designed specifically for hauling two patient litters, medical staff and applicable mission equipment. In an effort to interest the military market, the "Ansat-UM" has followed suit as a militarized MEDEVAC offering and can carry up to four patient litters.
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August 2013 - Type certification of the Ansat helicopter has been granted.
June 2019 - The Ansat series has been showcased at Paris Air Show 2019. Variants include MEDEVAC and modified police / security forms.
Kazan Helicopters / Russian Helicopters - Russia Manufacturer(s)
Usually none. Light attack helicopter model featuring 1 x 12.7mm heavy machine gun and 4 x underwing stub mounts for rocket pods, drop bombs or missiles. Basic military transports could see door-mounted machine guns for defense.
Ansat - Base Series Model with skid undercarriage
Amsat-UT - Proposed utility mark with wheeled undercarriage.
Ansat-M - Proposed civilian MEDEVAC model
Ansat-UM - Proposed Militarized MEDEVAC model
Ansat-2RC - Two-seat (tandem) light-class attack helicopter; fixed-position 12.7mm starboard-side heavy machine gun; wingstubs supporting missiles, rocket pods, gun pods and drop bombs.
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Image from official Russian Helicopters marketing material.
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