Russia’s “Small But Mighty” Multi-Role Helicopter, the Kamov Ka-226 (Video)


Kamov Ka-226 is one of the rare helicopters in the world with a flexible modular design, suitable for different missions. The Kamov Ka-226, known in the West as Hoodlum, is a small utility helicopter with coaxial propellers, developed from the successful Ka-26. The helicopter entered service in 2002, being developed for both military and civilian customers.

The Ka-226’s unique design is an interchangeable mission module, which is attached to its bubble-shaped cockpit, instead of conventional cabin. Various modules have been developed, optimized for search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster relief, patrol, police, fire fighting, crop-dusting, and so on. The helicopter can fly with or without module attached.

The Ka-226 has a length of 8.1 m, a height of 4.15 m, its empty weight is about 2 tons, and its maximum take-off weight is 3.5 tons. The helicopter is powered by two Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 engines, with 580 hp each. The top speed is up to 250 km/h, the range is 600 km, and the service ceiling is 6,200 m.

The undercarriage is a four-legged, all-wheeled arrangement for ground-running and remains fixed during flight. The tail unit uses a twin-boom structure that runs aft to which point vertical planes are affixed at the ends of a single horizontal plane. Ka-226 has coaxial contra-rotating main rotors, which was typical to most Kamov helicopter. The lack of tail rotors reduces the risk to ground personnel.

The crew consists of 2 pilots, in addition can carry up to 7 passengers if the helicopter is equipped with the appropriate fuselage module. This helicopter has internal payload capacity of 1,400 kg. Alternatively it can carry loads of up to 1,500 kg on external sling. So with the module removed the Ka-226 can be even used as a flying crane.

Compact dimensions of this helicopter come to an advantage when operating in urban areas. The Ka-226 is serving mainly in the services of the Russian Air Force, Russian FSB security service and Ministry of Internal Affairs. In addition, a small number are serving in Argentina, India, Ukraine, and Syria.

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