On 12 February Plekhanovo airport hosted a special event dedicated to the first commercial flight of the latest helicopter Mi-171A2 of UTair-Helicopter Services.
The Company received Мi-171А2 helicopter manufactured by Russian Helicopters holding in May 2018 at HeliRussia-2018 exhibition. Immediately after that, the specialists of the Holding and UTair-Helicopter Services started a set of measures for familiarization with the aircraft. The Company crews received training under the specially developed and approved programs, and UTair Engineering specialists mastered the full range of aircraft maintenance services for the latest type of helicopters. Following the taken measures, UTair-Helicopter Services received a relevant Certificate for commercial operation of Mi-171A2 helicopter from the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia).
"We are convinced that UTair as a largest civil helicopter operator in Russia will be able to make the best use of the technical advantages of Mi-171A2 during its operation. This machine is equipped with the state-of-the-art avionics and fit for operations in the most adverse weather conditions, which has been proved during the test flights" - said Andrei Boginsky, CEO of the Russian Helicopters holding.
RN-Uvatneftegaz of Rosneft Group companies will be the launch customer for the latest helicopter. Мi-171А2 will transport the company personnel from Tyumen and Tobolsk to work in the oil fields of Uvat group in Western Siberia.
"Following the directions of I. Sechin, Chief Executive Officer, to ensure safe working conditions, Rosneft Oil Company consistently implements the policy for improving the safety level of aviation support in operational activities by setting higher demands for aircraft condition and qualification of the providers' aviation personnel. The Company is interested in aviation support with the modern aircraft keeping up with the foreign-made counterparts and able to provide quality services with competitive prices" - commented Mikhail Grafinin, Executive Officer in capacity of Vice-President of Rosneft Oil Company.
"For over a half-century history of UTair almost all helicopters of domestic manufacture have received a start in life from Alma Mater of the Russian helicopter aviation - Plekhanovo airport. Here began the operation of the best helicopter in XX century - the legendary Mi-8, as well as the biggest Mi-26 and its predecessor Mi-6, and also of the unique crane helicopter Mi-10.
The success of the most ambitious investment project in the history of mankind — the development of the West Siberian oil and gas region would not have been possible without the mass use of rotorcraft. Today the grandchildren of the pioneers of helicopter aviation will take Mi-171A2 - the new generation helicopter and future leader of the Russian helicopter industry - into its first commercial flight. We, the aviators of UTair, thank our colleagues and partners from the Russian Helicopters holding, the designers and workers of production plants, manufacturers of engines, avionics and other most advanced equipment. We want to address our special gratitude to our major customer and leader in national oil industry - Rosneft Oil Company, for the convenience of which the newest Russian helicopter starts its service journey" - noted Andrei Martirosov, CEO of UTair Aviation JSC.
Mi-171А2 is the latest modification of helicopters of Mi-8/17 type. The aircraft is equipped with new engines with a digital control system, as well as an effective rotor system with composite blades and an improved aerodynamic profile. Because of the modernization, the power reserve has increased significantly, the cruising and maximum speed of Mi-171A2 compared to commercially produced Mi-8/17 helicopters have increased by 10%. The helicopter may be efficiently operated in the daytime and at night, in high altitudes, in high and low temperatures, high humidity environment and over water. The use of helicopter digital onboard equipment complex on Mi-171A2 made by the "glass cockpit" principle has reduced the crew to two people. For safety enhancement modern systems for prevention of the collision with terrain, other aircraft and obstacles in the flight path have been installed.
UTair - Helicopter Services is the helicopter operator No. 1 in Russia and the largest helicopter company in the world in terms of fleet size and cargo capacity. It is a part of UTair Group and its main helicopter company operating fleet of more than 330 aircraft of various types - mostly Mil family and Airbus Helicopters. The Company's helicopters are supporting its customers in 4 continents. UTair – Helicopter Services fleet capabilities and personnel expertise enable high quality and safety of aerial works of any complexity in any geographical and climatic regions. The helicopter business segment also includes Turukhan Airlines that operates in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, and Vostok Aviation rendering its services in the Far East. In the international markets UTair Group is represented by its subsidiaries: UTair India (India), UTair Europe (Slovakia), Helicopters del Sur (Peru).