According to the President’s decree, this year in Russia is declared the “Year of Ecology”. To support it, the anniversary HeliRussia 2017 expo included the “Aviation and Ecology” conference in its program, which will focus on various aspects of improving eco-friendliness of the helicopter industry. A round table on “Alternative Fuel Supply” is a part of this conference and it will be held on May 25. It will discuss possible use of helicopters powered by the liquefied natural gas.
Participation in all the business program events of the expo is free of charge with pre-registration, which is underway on the official website of the expo.
Russia is the only country in the world that already have technologies of liquefied natural gas use on aircraft. For example, in the late 1980s, a Mi-8TG helicopter with TV2-117TG engines was developed and tested. Engines designed by Klimov could work on both regular aviation fuel and liquefied natural gas. The helicopter successfully passed the evaluation tests, but further work was stopped because of the economic reasons.
Today the possible liquefied natural gas use to power helicopters is once again of interest. “Alternative Fuel Supply” round aims to discuss both the general situation with liquefied natural gas as aviation fuel, and more specific topics, like dual-fuel TV3-117VM and VK-2500 engines development, their use on Mi-8/17 helicopters, its advantages, an assessment of investment opportunities, as well as infrastructure and operational support for dual-fuel helicopters.
The specialists of the State Research Institute of Civil Aviation, InterAviaGaz, Institute of Economics of the Aircraft Industry, NIPIGAZ (part of SIBUR), Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute and Central Institute of Aviation Motors will take part in the round table.
Developing alternative fuel supply for aircraft is supported by the Russian state. In 2014, according to the order of the Ministry of Transport, an Interdepartmental workgroup was formed to promote ideas for natural gas as a fuel. Today, the Ministry of Transport, with the support of the Federal Agency of Air Transport and the Ministry of Industry and Trade have developed a draft of a state program called “Expanse of natural gas use as a motor fuel”. In regard of air transport, the program is designed for implementation in 2018-2022. The assumed financing is approx. 7.9 billion Rubles ($140 mil.).
Dual-fuel helicopter use can be especially useful in Arctic, Antarctic and Far North regions, where Russia holds a high interest. Helicopters are essential in those regions with special “arctic” military transport Mi-8AMTSh-VA recently introduced with its commercial counterpart underway.
The 10th anniversary International Helicopter Industry Exhibition HeliRussia will be held from 25 to 27 May in Moscow’s Crocus Expo IEC. This is the largest regional industry expo, covering all aspects of the helicopter industry. The expo is held in accordance with the order of the Russian Government on an initiative from the Helicopter Industry Association, the event is organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia.