21 May 2016

Rostec’s Technodinamika Holding has won a tender to develop a crash-resistant fuel system (CRFS) for the Ka-226T helicopter. Before the end of 2016, the holding is to carry out materials research, fabricate and test prototype system components and prepare a draft airworthiness qualification package for the CRFS.

The Technodinamika Holding, part of the Rostec State Corporation, has been declared the winner of an open tender for the development and qualification of a crash-resistant fuel system for the Ka-226 helicopter. The tender was held by the Russian Ministry of Industry within the federal program “Development of the Aviation Industry for 2013-2025.”

If implemented, this R&D work will reduce the dependence of domestic helicopter manufacturers on foreign equipment suppliers, lay the groundwork in the field of CRFS materials and designs, improve the competitiveness of domestic aircraft and will be the basis for developing core competencies of the domestic industry in the field of the development of crash-resistant fuel systems for all helicopters.

The results of the R&D work will be primarily implemented in the design of Ka-226T helicopters, and then the design groundwork will be used in designing fuel systems for other newly developed and existing domestic helicopters. According to the tender documents, companies affiliated with the Russian Helicopters Holding (JSC Kamov, JSC Mil MHP, JSC KumAPP, PJSC Kazan Helicopter Plant, JSC Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, PJSC Rostvertol) are interested in the results of the ATS-VT R&D project.

The CRFS will be developed by Technodinamika using the methods and techniques tried out in the course of research undertaken in the framework of the Konkurentospsobnost-2 R&D project. The system will protect the helicopters from the effects of hard landings, because the fuel tanks retain their integrity upon ground impact while joints break in special elements, which prevent fuel spillage and fire. Innovative materials used in the fuel tanks remain leak-proof upon impact and resistant to punctures, while fluoroplastic and titanium hoses and fittings withstand high temperature and pressure. At Helirussia 2016, the holding has presented a test-proven full-scale prototype system.

Technodinamika was the first in Russia to develop such a system and substantiate its serviceability by carrying out a series of drops of the fuel tank mock-ups and successful tests of other components of the system,” says Technodinamika CEO Maxim Kuzyuk. “The Ka-226T will be the first Russian helicopter to be equipped with such a system, which is of prime importance in the light of new requirements to aviation standards, which include enhanced safety requirements: all new passenger/transport helicopters must be equipped with crash-resistant fuel systems.”

Current ICAO regulations and requirements for air transportation safety and aviation environment protection stipulate the mandatory use of a crash-resistant fuel system in helicopters. At present, the main supplier of crash-resistant fuel systems for modern civil helicopters is AERAZUR (Zodiak, France) because the domestic industry lacks enough experience in the development and certification of such systems.