The Russian multi-role Ka-32A11BC has been certified in a number of major regions – America, Asia, and Europe.
1st Feb 2011
The Russian multi-role Ka-32A11BC has been certified in a number of major regions – America, Asia, and Europe. It is the firefighting modification of the Ka-32A helicopter and is regarded by experts as the best in its category. The Ka-32A11BC is unequalled in firefighting, especially in mountainous terrain and for the top floors of tall buildings.
September 2009 saw the certification of the Ka-32A11BC by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The helicopter was given type certificate EASA.IM.R.133. It allows any company to commercially operate the helicopter. Before that it was used by some EU state authorities for firefighting and mountain powerline construction pursuant to Specific Airworthiness Specification (SAS).
In 2010 Ka-32A11BC was certified in India by the DGCA. At the Farnborough International 2010 air show Russian Helicopters signed a contract with the Indian company Global Vectra Helicorp for 2 units of Ka-32A11BCs, with delivery in 2011.
In 2008 the Ka-32A11BC was certified by China, Indonesia, and South Korea. It received a Mexican type certificate in 2005. Canada issued a supplement to the certificate allowing administrative passenger transportation in 2006 (the certificate itself was issued back in 1998).
The world’s leading countries and regions have thus confirmed the outstanding performance and operation capabilities of this Russian helicopter. In Canada, for example, the Ka-32A11BC has long been the machine of choice for logging in difficult and mountainous terrain. In a number of conditions this helicopter has no rivals. Its reliability is confirmed by operations in Canada, where these helicopters have logged tens of thousands hours without overhaul. In 2000 these helicopters were employed in firefighting operations outside of Canada and were deployed to Idaho in the USA.
On the South American market firefighting Ka-32A11BC first appeared in Chile in 2007. Then two multi-role Ka-32A11BC operated by the Spanish Helicopteros del Sureste were used to combat forest fires. According to company specialists, the helicopters were as effective here as they had been in Europe. Spanish companies often send crews and rotorcraft to Chile because forest fires are seasonal and do not coincide in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Besides Chile, the Ka-32A11BC has been successfully fighting fires in Mexico during several seasons.
Coaxial rotors are particularly useful in firefighting in highly turbulent conditions. Global experience is proving light tail rotor controlled helicopters to be inefficient in firefighting operations. The Ka-32A11BC offers over 40 equipment options, including various Bambi-bucket and Simplex systems, water cannons for horizontal firefighting, foldable rescue cabins of different capacity, and other equipment.
Various modifications of the Ka-32 are successfully operated in Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Canada, South Korea, Chile, Mexico, Japan, China, and other countries. In South Korea the fleet of Ka-32s exceeds 60 – these helicopters are top scorers in the Forestry Service (firefighting) and Coast Guard. After 9/11 attacks, the firefighting capabilities of the helicopter in high-rise buildings have sparked interest in US customers.
A new Ka-family member is the light multi-role Ka-226T – a state-of-the-art coaxial-rotor helicopter fitted with Turbomeca Arrius 2G engines and a Russian VR-226N gearbox.
Both the Ka-32A11BC and Ka-226 were designed by the Kamov Design Bureau for production at the plant in Kumertau. Over 140 Ka-32s helicopters have been built to date, and about half are operated in over 30 countries worldwide. The Ka-226T certification is due to be completed and the helicopter to enter mass production in 2011. Meanwhile it has been competing in a large Indian tender for light helicopters.
Russian Helicopters, JSC is an affiliated company of UIC Oboronprom. It controls the following helicopter industry enterprises: Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, Kamov, Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, Kazan Helicopters, Rostvertol, Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company named after N.I. Sazykin, Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise, Stupino Machine Production Plant, Reductor-PM, Novosibirsk Aircraft Repairing Plant and Helicopter Service Company.