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Kamov Ka-15 (Hen)

Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)

Soviet Union | 1955

"The Kamov Ka-15 was introduced in 1955 but produced in fewer than 400 examples for the Soviet Union."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/31/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The Kamov Ka-15 ("Hen") was a light-class, utility-minded twin-seat helicopter originating in the Soviet Union during the Cold War period. Its function mimicked much of what made the contemporary American Bell Model 47 light utility such a success for its time. Unlike the Model 47's insect-like appearance, however, the Ka-15 sported twin-tail fins, combined twin rotor mast, a bulbous cabin with enclosed fuselage, and a four-point wheeled undercarriage.

After a first-flight on April 14th, 1951, the helicopter was introduced into service in 1955 and managed use into the 1970s before being given up for good. Total production of the Ka-15 series yielded 375 units.

The key feature of the design was the co-axial main rotor arrangement which sat the two main rotors one atop the other. The arrangement eventually became associated with the Kamov concern as this same system went on to be featured on other platforms including the Ka-50 "Black Shark", Ka-52 "Alligator", and the Ka-27 family. In the co-axial arrangement, the contra-rotating blades are used to cancel out the naturally occurring torque effect seen with single main rotor units, negating the need for a conventional tail rotor.

The Ka-15 is notable as becoming the first co-axially-equipped helicopter to be produced in quantity.

The base aircraft has seating for two in a side-by-side configuration. The rotor mast was affixed aft and above the cockpit/cabin. Two main undercarriage legs were installed at the "cheek" positions of the fuselage while the other two main legs protruded from the sides of the fuselage. The tail unit was short and integrated to the main mass of the helicopter while capped by a horizontal plane, itself straddled by vertical fins.

The Ka-15 was ultimately produced in three primary versions, the "Ka-15", operated by the Soviet Navy, the "Ka-15M", a civilian market form used by Aeroflot.

The Ka-15M was given a length of 20.5 feet, height of 11 feet, and rotor diameter of 32.7 feet. Power was served from a single Ivchenko AI-14V (M-14) 9-cylinder, air-cooled radial piston engine developing 250 horsepower driving a pair of three-bladed main rotors. Performance figures included a maximum speed of 93 miles-per-hour, a cruising speed of 78 mph, a range out to 240 miles and a service ceiling just under 10,000 feet.

The "Ka-18" was an evolution of the Ka-15 line, introducing seating for four behind a rounded nose assembly. One hundred twenty examples of the Ka-18 were produced and these also went on to serve Soviet Naval Aviation elements - retaining much of the qualities of the original.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Kamov Ka-15M Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
1 x Ivchenko AI-14V radial piston engine developing 255 horsepower and driving 2 x three-bladed coaxial main rotors.
93 mph
150 kph | 81 kts
Max Speed
9,843 ft
3,000 m | 2 miles
Service Ceiling
249 miles
400 km | 216 nm
Operational Range
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Kamov Ka-15M Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
20.5 ft
6.25 m
O/A Length
32.6 ft
(9.95 m)
O/A Width
11.0 ft
(3.35 m)
O/A Height
2,205 lb
(1,000 kg)
Empty Weight
3,086 lb
(1,400 kg)
Notable series variants as part of the Kamov Ka-15 (Hen) family line.
Ka-15 "Hen" - Base Series Name
Ka-15M - Civilian market model of the military Ka-15.
Ka-18 - Four-seat variant of the Ka-15
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Kamov Ka-15 (Hen). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 375 Units

Contractor(s): Kamov - Soviet Union
National flag of the Soviet Union

[ Soviet Union ]
Going Further...
The Kamov Ka-15 (Hen) Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) appears in the following collections:
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