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Russian helos

#1
They'd never want these. Cheap, reliable, off-the-shelf, no frills....since when have we bought anything like that?
Only stupid people like the Indians go and buy a proven bit of kit like that and then improve it with Gucci western avionics, ending up with something 85% as good as a Western helicopter for 30% of the cost. No, no, no....
 
#3
Dude, what triggered that? Russian helos are less comfy than western ones.
 
#4
I've seen Russian airliners close up (inside and out) and they scared the crap out of me...not sure I would feel safe in a Russian helo if they are to the same standard. Buy cheap, buy twice?

Merlin on the other hand is like riding in a brand new Range Rover, with IR flares fitted...almost. It's just finding one to use that's the problem.
 
#5
The comparison with a Range Rover is a good one. We all know how much they cost. Now, imagine you are carrying a sack of spuds home and your mate drives up with his Skoda or Volks. Are you going to say, "no thanks, it's not as good as a Range Rover?", or get in?

In my experience, most people who think Russian helicopters are sh*te haven't used them. They look inside one at an air show, put on a sour face because it isn't like a Western one, and say it's crap. Every time you see a disaster relief operation on TV, what's in the background? An Mi-8 or -17.

These guys realised long ago, that reinventing the wheel isn't very clever if all you want to do is build a cart. What have they been using to take supplies to the international space station for the last ten years? The old Soyuz rocket, a slightly modified version of Gagarin's bit of kit.

Yes, there are places you need a slick helo covered in the latest defensive aids gadgets and Gucci kit, but there's a lot more times when you need a truck that can do vertical take-offs and landings. The problem is of course, that our manufacturers don't want to build cheap and simple. Less profit in it, I guess.
 
#6
very true, bit like the ak 47, if you had one weapon in the world to trust your life with what would you pick? that marval of western engineering a sa 80 perhaps or that fifty year old russian antique? id know what i go for
 
#8
Had a return ticket on a civilian MI-8, lets just say it was a nice ferry ride on the way back, but in it's defence they were running a cheap service and it looked like they were scrimping on the servicing to keep it cheap. It stank of kerosene and I mean nauseatingly so and the rotor bearing sounded shot through (but I don't know what they normally sound like). The point is she was still flying and at a profit.

I guess a 3rd class flight is better than a 1st class Bedford especially if you're the poor fecker waiting for a medavac!
 
#9
Most of the problems with Russian-designed helos are down to poor maintenance/lack of available spares in theatre. Brand new or well-maintained they're good, reliable workhorses. Maybe not comfortable, but then neither's walking.

The Czech HIP fleet in Boz were a bit of an buttock-clencher, but that's mainly because the pilots were pished most of the time.
 
#10
auxie said:
very true, bit like the ak 47, if you had one weapon in the world to trust your life with what would you pick? that marval of western engineering a sa 80 perhaps or that fifty year old russian antique? id know what i go for
A2 I would hit what I aimed at .
Flown in hips twice didn't inspire confidence maybe if they were serviced by crab air or reme would think better of them .
 
#12
I would also add that maybe (?) they aren't built to last as long, because the Ruskis knew they had hundreds more to replace them. Hence if maintained poorly they fall apart quickly.

So buy a cheap Russian design, maintain it properly (assuming spares packets are available) and it should be ok. Maybe you will need to maintain it more often but someone would do a cost of maintaining vs purchase cost comparison. You'd hope....
 
#13
Been in a HiP a couple of times, the whole thing didn't make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It might be due to bad maintenance, or just due to being cheaply built. I'd imagine that building a Hind under license over here might solve that, but who knows?

Some mates of mine were in a minor Seaking crash at SLB and walked away with some heavy bruising, in some of the Russian crates I've seen they'd have been fecked.
 
#14
seenoff said:
smartascarrots said:
Most of the problems with Russian-designed helos are down to poor maintenance/lack of available spares....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6715937.stm
I'll see you and raise you.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/6764271.stm

No mention in either case of possible cause as yet.

I'm not arguing the Russian stuff is to be preferred over their more expensive western counterparts, just that they are or at least can be, good, rugged, reliable machines.
 
#15
Jesus. I don't think he even flared.
 
#17
I have flown in one of the Mi-17's that had been reconditioned to zero hours and western maintained. It was clean, comfortable, reliable and in my (inexperienced) opinion no different to NATO birds. No confidence problem on my part at all. Apparently the total cost of buying the frame and reconditioning was a few million dollars. Oh and it could fly in high and hot conditions which apparently is exactly what the MI-17 version of the Mi-8 was modified and re-engined to do. Seems a buy to me.
M9
 
#18
PTP - You're right, I saw the video of that Black Hawk on C4 News last night, and the Helicopter literally crashes to the deck of the ship, looks like the undercarriage gets completely destroyed, then it skids and bounces off the other side into the ocean - but not before losing it's tail rotor and spinning.

* terrifying for all who were aboard...
 
#19
army-hopeful said:
PTP - You're right, I saw the video of that Black Hawk on C4 News last night, and the Helicopter literally crashes to the deck of the ship, looks like the undercarriage gets completely destroyed, then it skids and bounces off the other side into the ocean - but not before losing it's tail rotor and spinning.

* terrifying for all who were aboard...
There are many different possibilities for the Blackhawk crash, from aircrew error to the failure of the gadget that matches the pitch of the ship to the rise and fall of the helicopter whilst landing. The two cannot be compared.

Whilst the Mil8/17 MT has a decent safety record I don't think that I would want to travel in a cab that doesn't even have the basic electronic and survival aids. To bolt them on would increase the cost to almost Westland costs.

In addition, You do not only have the worries of airframe costs. You have the recruitment in personnel to worry about, from groundhandlers to mechs to aircrew. Manning even one new regiment cannot be handled by redistribution of existing troops, a massive recruitment drive would have to be undertaken
 
#20
Sven, I wasn't on topic - I wasn't sure if PTP had seen the footage, so I was just telling him what it showed.

I was in no way attempting to compare a Black Hawk crash on a Ship, to issues with Russian Heli's. Although I am interested - having seen the footage, would you say it was pilot error? Have to be something pretty * drastic wrong for the pilot to plough in like that.
 

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