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Russian Helicopters, a Rostec subsidiary, has unveiled the prototype of the newest version of an updated Ka-226T light chopper, “Alpinist”, being developed for high altitude operations.

The aircraft will begin flight tests this fall. It will have increased speed, reduced empty weight, besides wider range, reaching altitudes up to 6500 meters. 

The helicopter can optionally be equipped with oxygen equipment, ballonets, air conditioning and heating systems. Certification for passenger transportation is planned, Rostec said.

The helicopter features good controllability at extreme altitudes in thin air conditions, resistance to strong crosswinds, high climb rate, the ability to take off and land on sites located at high altitudes.

It can be highly effective when flying over water surfaces. It can take off and land on the deck of even small sea vessels, as reported by defenseworld.net.

Compared to previous models, upgraded Ка-226Т will have better performance. For instance, its flights will be longer, the weight of the helicopter without passengers and cargo will be lower, the range will be increased, and the rotorcraft will be capable of operation at heights of up to 6,500 meters.