The Mil Mi-38, being developed by the Moscow Helicopter Plant, is intended to replace the large in-service fleet of Mi-8/Mi-17 medium helicopters, and to take over some of the tasks which are now carried out by aging Mil Mi-6s. In close collaboration with Mil Design Bureau and Eurocopter, "Kazan Helicopters" continues development and production of Mi-38 helicopter prototype. The Mi-38 helicopter meets FAR-29 requirements and European JAR-29, category A and B. The engine of the helicopter has been developed by Pratt-Whitney/Rus and is being designed to meet the requirements of European JAR-E Regulations. The helicopter is intended for day and night operation, under any weather conditions in a range of temperatures from - 60C up to + 50C. In December 2010, OP-2, the second prototype of the new Mi-38 helicopter built by Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant JSC and Kazan Helicopters JSC, the subsidiaries of the Russian Helicopters holding company, has achieved its first flight. The test program that was started is proceeding well according to Kazan Helicopters specialists: the helicopter has already completed 26 ground runups and 7 hover and low speed flights over the runway. On December 2010, the No.2 prototype of the new civil medium-class passenger/transport Mi-38 helicopter accomplished the first long-haul flight. Mi-38 took off in Kazan, where the manufacturer, Kazan Helicopters, is situated. It covered over 800 km and arrived in Moscow to continue testing program at Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, designer of this rotorcraft.
- VIP version: for transporting of 12 passengers over range up to 700 km; - Transport version: for carrying of 30 passengers over range up to 450 km, transportation up to 5 tons inside the helicopter over range of up to 400 km, transporting loads up to 7 tons on an external cargo sling, transporting combined passenger and cargo loads; - Medevac version: for evacuation up to 16 wounded on stretchers.
The first prototype of Mi-38 were not designed to transport armament, but as substitute of Mi-8 and Mi-17, have can suppose that the same weapons systems can be mounted of this helicopter.
The Mi-38 is the helicopter of the classic single-rotor design with six- bladed main rotor, four-bladed X-shaped tail rotor and all-movable stabilizer. Its aerodynamic design enables to minimize the harmful air resistance of the fuselage. The fuselage structure includes three-layer panels and composite parts. The main and tail rotor blades are of glass-fibber materials. Their lifetime is practically unlimited. The flight tests proved high aerodynamic performance. The main rotor hub with elastomeric bearings requires no maintenance. The tail rotor design is similar to the one tried-and-true of Mi-28 helicopter. When developing the units and systems the designers paid special attention to maintainability. To compare with Mi-8 helicopter, the labour intensity of maintenance has been reduced more than twice. The life assigned to the structure of the units and systems exceeds 4-6 times the one of the similar elements of Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopters. The cabin can be configured for passenger or VIP transport, cargo or mixed cargo and passenger transport, air ambulance and emergency evacuation, surveillance and other missions. There is a portside ramp door for passengers. As a passenger transport the cabin can seat 30 passengers. In the ambulance version, the Mi-38 can accommodate 16 stretchers.
The Mi-38 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada / Russia PW127TS turboshaft engines, rated at 2,500hp (1,864kW), fitted with FADEC (full authority digital engine control). The twin engines are installed above the main cabin.
The Mi-38 is equipped with a cargo sling and can carry external loads up to 7t and internal payloads to 5t with a cargo area of 29.5m³. For cargo transport the helicopter is equipped with a television camera and display for monitoring the loading of cargo and the slung loads. Sensors can be fitted for checking the weight of slung loads and the weight and weight distribution of cargo loaded internally. The hatch in the cabin floor allows tactical cargo airdrop from the cabin. The hatch can be replaced with windows and surveillance cameras and other sensor systems for surveillance missions.