Berkut VL

September 14, 2013 by Tim McAdams

Typically, coaxial rotor systems (one rotor system stacked on top of another that spin in opposite directions) are used on larger helicopters. The advantages are higher speed and more lifting power as a tail rotor is not needed. An aerospace start-up company in India (DASYS), a manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles, has designed a light two-seat helicopter with a coaxial rotor system.

Called the Berkut VL, the company plans to certify the helicopter in compliance with US FAR Part 27 standards. Currently there are two prototypes, one for testing and the other for demonstrations. These two airframes are equipped with a Russian ConverVAZ engine, but production models will have the option of a 150 hp Lycoming O-320 engine. Helicopters with American engines will get the designation Berkut VL M. The planned take-off weight is 1,830 lbs with a maximum speed of 108 mph and a range of 527 miles.

The helicopter will be produced at a plant in central Russia. Although no price has been released, the company has stated it will be affordable and plans are for it to compete with the Robinson R-22. As such, the company has announced a four-seat version will follow. First deliveries are scheduled for mid 2014.

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3 Responses to “Berkut VL”

  1. Steve Says:

    Do you know what company is manufacturing this helicopter, and do you have contact info for them?

    Thanks,

    Steve

  2. Dave Says:

    What a beauty. Looks like it could give the R22 a run for its money. I’ve flown as a passenger in an R44 4 or 5 times and I loved it. It’s a very nimble little bird for a piston. While this is “apple and oranges” in comparing a 4 place to a 2, I’ve got to say, “Look out Robby!” A couple of concerns, though: in judging from this one photo, it looks like the ground clearance for the lower rotor is about 7 feet and the rotor heads are possibly the fully articulated, teetering type. Any chance of this thing whipping your wig off into the next county, or worse, decapitating you while idling in full clutch and perched on hilly ground? I suppose you can “duck and run” while holding on to your hat, just like they do with the big boys. Also, how’s the auto-rotation with this coaxial, or any coaxial, for that matter? Will the lower rotor disrupt the feed air for the upper rotor? Would it matter if that happened, since they’re freewheeling? Thanks for your time. This bird looks great.
    Dave

  3. Sam Says:

    I have been corresponding with their Australian distributor. But the distribution
    agreement was abruptly cut last year. Writing to some Russian Heli companies
    and traders didn’t help either. Nobody bothered to reply.

    It seems Robinson bought the rights and toolings so there won’t be competition.
    What a shame. So many fixed wing pilots could fly a coaxial heli without special
    training.

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