History of the helicopter industry
Flying has been mankind's greatest dream throughout almost all of its history. This dream has given rise to numerous myths, legends and tales. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that first attempts to create an aircraft were made several centuries ago.
A machine capable of vertical take-off was first mentioned in China as early as in 400 AD, and Leonardo da Vinci worked on the designs of such an aircraft in 1475. In 1920, Juan de La Cierva presented the design of an autogyro.
In Russia, the term "helicopter" (vertolyot) was first used by Nikolay Kamov. He is considered to be the inventor of this term. The first official document where it was recorded is the minutes of a meeting of the Technical Commission under the Central Council of the Union of Societies of Assistance to Defense, Aviation and Chemical Construction of the USSR (OSOAVIAKhIM) chaired by Boris Yuriev on February 8, 1929.
The rapid development of the helicopter industry reflects strong demand for the capabilities provided by helicopters.
From blueprints to tests
Igor Sikorsky, Russian-American inventor and aircraft designer, responsible for creating the single-rotor helicopter, is born.
Nikolai Kamov, Soviet aircraft designer who created the Ka coaxial helicopter series, is born.
First successful vertical take-off. It lasted one minute and took place with the helicopter tethered and without a pilot. The helicopter, weighing 578 kg, rose 50cm above the ground. It was designed by the brothers Louis and Jaques Bregeut.
French engineer Paul Cornu successfully carried out a vertical take-off in a helicopter. The helicopter rose 50 cm into the air for a total duration of 20 seconds.
22 November Mikhail Mil, legendary Soviet aircraft designer and creator of the legendary Mi-helicopters, is born.
Nikolai Kamov, the brilliant designer, builds the first KASKR-1 gyroplane. The A-7 gyroplane was later built at the Central Aero-hydrodynamic Institute’s special construction centre.
The birth of Russian helicopter industry
Nikolai Kamov heads up the first plant building rotary-wing aircraft.
In the fall of 1941, a group of autogyros from 6 A-7 set off for combat tests at the front. Autogyros made 20 sorties for reconnaissance, adjusting artillery fire and delivering cargo to partisans. Losses in personnel and in cars were not.
Nikolai Kamov begins work on the ultra-small one-seat coaxial Irkutyanin, fitted with an M-76 motorcycle engine.
Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute forms a helicopter laboratory led by legendary helicopter designer Mikhail Mil.
Test and construction bureau formed, led by Mikhail Mil.
First super-light Ka-8 built.
Light multi-role Mi-1 makes its maiden flight.
Ka-8 demonstrates truck-based take-off and landing at an air show in Tushino.
Nikolai Kamov’s construction bureau OKB-2, later to become the Ukhta Helicopter Plant, is officially founded.
First ultra-small coaxial Ka-10, known as the “flying motorcycle” built.
Mikhail Mil and OKB create the Mi-1, the first Soviet helicopter to go into serial production.
Work starts on the Mi-4 transport helicopter. To this end, OKB-Mil absorbs the only specialised helicopter plant, factory No.3, in Moscow.
Mi-4 multi-role transport helicopter makes its maiden flight, laying the foundations for Russian helicopter aviation.
Faster. Higher. More reliable
Ka-25 ship-based helicopter took off аor the first time, becoming the first Russian combat helicopter.
The first flights of the light multi-purpose helicopter Mi-2, the most produced twin-engine helicopter Mi-8 and the world's largest amphibious helicopter Mi-14.
Mi-6 takes off with a 20.1-ton load. At the time, it was the world’s heaviest-lifting and fastest helicopter. It has a maximum speed of 300 km/hr.
Fibreglass blades first made for the Ka-15.
Mi-6 officially adopted by the Soviet and other Armed Forces for military operations.
The Mi-10K, the “flying crane”, a high-tech transport helicopter, takes off for the first time.
V-12, the largest helicopter ever built, makes its maiden flight.
The Mi-24, the world’s most experienced attack helicopter, in service in more than 50 countries worldwide, makes its maiden flight.
Plant number 329 renamed the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant.
The V-12 – a four-engine, dual-rotor transport helicopter – is demonstrated to great acclaim at the 29th Le Bourget air show near Paris.
Test prototype of the naval Ka-27 helicopter takes off for the first time.
Ukhta Helicopter Plant given the name of its chief designer, Nikolai Kamov.
Prototype of Ka-29 military transport helicopter based on the Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopter makes its maiden flight
Heavy transport helicopter Mi-26 was launched into serial production.at the Rostov Helicopter Production Association (now PJSC Rostvertol)
The Ka-32 civilian multi-role helicopter makes its maiden flight.
To new horizons
Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopter makes its maiden flight.
Light multi-role Ka-226, a modernised version of the renowned Ka-26, makes maiden flight
Multi-role Ka-60 produced for the Russian Air Force makes its maiden flight.
New ultra-heavy multi-role Mi-38 makes its maiden flight. The multirole Mi-38 helicopter can be used for passenger and cargo transportation, as a VIP transport vehicle, on search-and-rescue missions, as an airborne hospital, and in offshore missions.
Russian Helicopters holding company is formed. The company comprises design bureaux, helicopter plants, entities working to build, service and repair components, and service companies that provide post-sale services within Russia and internationally.
The military Ka-52 Alligator goes into serial production.
Medium multi-role Ka-32A11BC certified for commercial use by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
Consolidation of Russian helicopter-building assets into Russian Helicopters group completed. 214 helicopters supplied, order portfolio stands at 430.
262 helicopters supplied, order portfolio doubled – rising to 859 helicopters, with a profit margin of 17%
Russian Helicopters companies produce 290 helicopters.
December 17, 2013 the first flight of the new Mi-38 helicopter with Russian TV7-117V engines took place
April 28 - the first flight of the Ka-62 civil multi-purpose helicopter
On July 29, the first flight was made by the upgraded "Night Hunter" Mi-28NM
The maiden flight of Mi-38T military-transport helicopter.
The multi-purpose civil Mi-38 was first introduced overseas at Dubai Airshow.