June 2017

2017 June

Russian Air Force
Kamov Ka-50 “Black Shark”
First flight: June 17, 1982

The Kamov Ka-50 "Black Shark" (NATO reporting name "Hokum A") is a single-seat Russian attack helicopter with the distinctive coaxial rotor system of the Kamov design bureau. It was developed with a designation of the V-80 began at the Kamov Helicopter Plant in 1977 and first flight was on June 17, 1982; it was adopted for service in the Russian army in August 1995, with 32 aircraft built.

The helicopter has a number of unique characteristics including a single-ejectable seat and six jettisonable rotor blades. Kamov designers believed that combining the duties of flying, navigation, target detection, and tracking could be automated to a degree that a single crew member could perform all functions. A single-person crew would provide the benefits of weight and drag reduction, better flight performance in forward speed and vertical climb rate, reduce training costs and reduce the number of possible combat casualties.

Kamov's characteristic counter-rotating co-axial rotor system, which removes the need for the entire tail rotor assembly, provides a qualitative engine power advantage, because the torque-countering tail rotor can use up to 30% of engine power. Hence, it improves the helicopter’s survivability and vulnerability by avoiding incapacitation due to combat damage to the conventional tail rotor dynamic system.

The Ka-50 evolved into the two-seat Ka-52 “Alligator” (Hokum B) — first flight was June 25, 1997, and operational trials were completed in 2011. The Russian Air Force plans to adopt 140 Ka-52s, while the Russian Navy is purchasing the Ka-52K “Katran.”

Description: Jacques Virasak
Photo credit: Wall.alphacoders.com

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