China takes delivery of a fourth Mi-26TS heavy-lift chopper

World Aviation Defense & Security News - China
China takes delivery of a fourth Mi-26TS heavy-lift chopper
Rostec’s subsidiary Russian Helicopters has supplied a Mil Mi-26TS to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The aircraft was made by Rostvertol. It conducted its maiden flight from the manufacturer’s flight test facility on June 23, Rostvertol’s press office told journalists.
China takes delivery of a fourth Mi 26TS heavy lift chopper 640 001A Chinese Mil Mi-26TS heavy transport helicopter
(Credit: Russian Helicopters/Эрик Романенко)
The Mi-26TS is planned to follow the Rostov-on-Don-Saratov-Ufa-Chelyabinsk-Omsk-Novosibirsk-Krasn oyarsk-bratsk-Chita-hailar route and to arrive in China on July 2.

Russian Helicopters and China’s Lectern Aviation Supplies Co. Ltd. signed the contract for the Mi-26TS in 2014. The helicopter has been the fourth of the type, bought by the PRC. At present, Chinese commercial and government-owned firms operate three Mi-26TS rotorcraft, with two being flown by QingDao Helicopter Co. Ltd. and one by China Flying Dragon General Aviation Co. Ltd.

"The cooperation with Chinese companies is very important to the [Russian Helicopters] holding company, because China is one of our strategic partners, with which we both trade and implement promising programs," Russian Helicopters Deputy Director for Marketing and Business Alexander Scherbinin said. "The work done by such large and reliable a machine as the Mi-26TS can hardly be overestimated on natural and man-made disaster relief operations."

According to Scherbinin, the fourth Mi-26TS has been acquired for Shandong province making active efforts to preserve and expand its forests. The Russian-made machine will suppress fires and haul equipment and outsize cargo there.

Certificated in accordance with China’s air rules, the Mi-26TS is a unique aircraft able to carry 20 tons of cargo in its cabin or on the external sling. The Mi-26TS is second to none in the world in terms of lifting capacity. It has repeatedly proven its effectiveness on firefighting sorties in the PRC. While on disaster relief operations, the machine carried firefighters to the seats of fire and dropped water on the burning woods.

At present, the Mi-26TS helicopters are operated by the Chinese Ministry of Forestry and have been used in the forest firefighting role annually. The latest Mi-26TS will start its operations as soon as July.
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