Codenamed 'Hermit' by NATO, the Mi-34 is a two/four-seat light helicopter powered by a piston engine. The first of two prototypes flew for the first time in 1986, and the type was revealed to the West for the first time at the Paris air show in June 1987. First flown on 17 November 1986, two prototypes and a structure test airframe were completed by mid-1987.
An acrobatic helicopter, it was the first helicopter built in former USSR to perform normal loop and roll. Intended initially for training and international competition flying, it has a conventional pod and boom configuration, powered is from a 325 h.p. Vedeneyev M-14-V26 engine.
Aerobatic capabilities include backwards flight at 130km/h and rotation about main rotor axis at 120 degrees/s.
The flying controls are manual, with no hydraulic boost. The semi-articulated four-blade main rotor with flapping and cyclic pitch hinges, has natural flexing in the lead/lag plane. Blades are of GFRP with CFRP reinforcement, attached by flexible steel straps to the head. The two-blade tail rotor is of similar composites construction, on the starboard side. The riveted light alloy fuselage has a sweptback tailfin with small unswept T tailplane.
Landing gear is conventional fixed skids on arched support tubes and a small tailskid protects the tail rotor.
One 239kW VOKBM M-14V-26V nine-cylinder radial air-cooled engine is mounted sideways in the centre of the fuselage. Fuel capacity is 176 litres in a system for inverted flight.
The normally one or two pilots, side by side, are in an enclosed cabin, with optional dual controls. The rear of the cabin contains a low bench seat, available for two passengers and offering a flat floor for cargo carrying. There is a forward-hinged door on each side of flight deck and on each side of rear cabin.
The primary electric power is provided by 27V 3kW engine-driven generator. A secondary power supplys 115V AC, 400 Hz, single-phase and 36V AC, 400 Hz, three-phase; 27V 17Ah battery.
The Mi-34S/34C completion was at Moscow plant of LVM, but subsequently reverted to Arsenyev.
Planned completion of 30 in 1994-95 was hampered by a lack of funding, with five delivered in 1995, and one in the first half of 1996.
Trials in 1999 by a civil pilot training school at Omsk showed Mi-34 to be 2.8 times cheaper and more effective to operate than current fleet and the school was to acquire three Mi-34Cs and obtain up to 10 more in long term.
In 2001, an upgraded variant was proposed with M-14 engine rated at 272kW, IFR instrumentation and auxiliary fuel tank. An agricultural variant was planned for debut in 2003.
The Mi-34S is the basic version, marketed in Russia as the Mi-34, and certified by the Interstate Aviation Committee Aviation Register (initially at 1,350kg max take-off weight), with helicopter, engine and noise type certificates, meets FAR Pt 27 requirements.
(Note that until 1999, all marketing literature for this version used the hybrid Roman/Cyrillic 'Mi-34C' to indicate certified status.)
Total of 23 sold and 18 delivered by mid-2002, compared with estimated 425 called for in Russia's 1992-2000 civil aviation development plan. Had increased to 21 deliveries (from Arsenyev) by March 2003. First three for Mayor's office, Moscow. Others used by Bashkir Airlines and Mi-Avia for patrol and training. One operated by Bosniac and Croat Federation Air Force. Three delivered to Nigerian Air Force in 2001, along with six Mi-35s; these were from first batch of six Mi-34s built at Arsenyev, after pause of several years; further five delivered to Nigeria by end of 2002. LVM reportedly ordered 20 Mi-34s for construction at Arsenyev in 2001, but only delivery in that year apart from Nigerians was one to Sibneft. In June 2002, Russian sources reported foreign (assumed Nigerian) negotiations for "several dozen'' Mi-34s although only known 2003 production commitment is follow-on batch of four for Nigeria and five for Omsk Civil Aviation Flying and Technical College by end of 2005.
Costs: US$400,000, fully equipped (2003).
A twin-engine version is built by the VAZ motor car works at Tolyatti. The Mi-34VAZ features a totally new rotor head made from carbon fibre.
A development was under way to re-engine the Mi-34 with two 164kW VAZ-430 rotary engines normally used to power VAZ cars, and which run on Mogas. First flight of the prototype, designated Mi-34V, was scheduled for 1993.
The Mi-34P (patrulnyi: patrol) is a version of the Mi-34S, equipped for police duties. Renewed interest in 2001 from Gazprom for pipeline patrol.
Engine: 1 x VMKB M-14V-26
Instant pwr: 243 kW
Main rotor diameter: 10.0m
Tail rotor diameter: 1.48m
Overall length, rotors turning: 11.415m
Fuselage length: 8.71m
Max width: 1.42m
Overall height: 2.75m
Normal take-off weight: 1280kg
Max take-off weight: 1450kg
Empty weight: 950kg
Max level speed: 210km/h
Max cruising speed: 170km/h
Service ceiling: 4000m
Hovering ceiling, OGE: 900m
Range with max fuel at 500m: 356km
Engine: 2 x VAZ-430 rotary
Instant pwr: 170 kW
Rotor dia: 10 m
MTOW: 1960 kg
Useful load: 550 kg
Max cruise: 110 kts
Max range: 600 km