Aiming for new high with Russian Haze

10481671_1000317380001131_2324922143322242076_oRussian Helicopters is making plans to restart production of an amphibious helicopter a mere 30 years after production was initially ended.

The reintroduction of the Mi-14 Haze amphibious helicopter was announced by the company at the International Maritime Defence Show (IMDS) held in St Petersburg from 1 to 5 July.

This particular aircraft has a boat hull allowing it to land, taxi and take off from the water.

Now for some fun helicopter facts:

  • Production of the rotorcraft was carried out between 1973 and 1986.
  • The design is based on the Mi-8/17 twin engine military transport aircraft built at the Kazan Helicopter site.
  • The aircraft is currently still in service with the Polish Naval Aviation who will be displaying one of the aircraft at RIAT next weekend.
  • Historically the Mi-14 has seen service with the Russian Navy and also operated commercially in Bulgaria, Cuba, East Germany, Ethiopia, Libya, Syria, Vietnam, Yemen, and Yugoslavia.
  • The aircraft has a maximum speed of 124kts, ferry range of 1,135km and endurance of four hours with maximum fuel.

The company says that if production was to restart, the new aircraft would be primarily aimed at operators looking to expand the range of SAR operations.

Although it’s pretty cool having an amphibious helicopter it does comes with risks. As this video (tweeted to me by one of my enthusiastic avgeek followers) shows what can happen when your helicopter doesn’t land quite right.

According to reports from 2006 the helicopter had one engine that was inoperable and the aircraft ploughed into a big swell as it attempted to power up. According to Russian reports, 12 of the 13 passengers survived the crash.

The renewed future of this aircraft is certainly one to keep an eye out for and if you’re interested in some more info then ‘click here’ for the full story.

For now here is a Mi-14 with a killer whale painted on the side.

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