The idea of creating a light helicopter appeared in Kazan in the early 1990s, for this purpose a pilot design bureau was created in Kazan Helicopter Plant, which was engaged in the development of the Ansat. As a power plant was chosen engine PW207K, the Canadian company Pratt & Whitney. The United Engine Corporation (UEC, ODK) told about the status of the import substitution programme of the foreign engine for the Ansat.
In March 2022, after the start of a special military operation, deliveries of imported engines to Russia stopped, and now helicopter production continues with PW207K engines, which have been reserved in the plant’s warehouses. New VK-650V engines for the Ansat are being developed by the ODK-Klimov enterprise in St Petersburg.
The engine has an optimally simple design and is created using electronic design and 3D printing of components. Its serial production will be organised in close cooperation between ODK-Klimov and other enterprises of the industry. In particular, parts and assemblies of the compressor group and free turbine shaft will be manufactured by the Moscow-based V.V. Chernyshov MMP. In particular, parts and assemblies of the compressor group and the free turbine shaft will be manufactured by Moscow-based V.V. Chernyshyov MMP, while hot part assemblies are traditionally produced by Ufa-based ODK-UMPO.
To date, engineering tests of VK-650V have been successfully completed and all main technical parameters have been achieved. It is planned to complete its certification and obtain a type certificate in 2024, and serial deliveries to the KVZ are scheduled for 2025.
The Russian engine, like the PW207K, has a resource of 3,000 hours and will be built up in stages. For example, the Ansat originally entered the market with a resource of 500 hours, and now has 16 thousand. For the testing stage, Kazan Helicopter Plant will receive an engine with a limited resource, which will be gradually increased.
By the end of this year, UEC plans to produce ten prototypes of the VK-650V. Four of them will be involved in flight tests as part of the Ansat helicopter.