We will try to cross the vast territory of Russia in both ends, using only light-weighted single-engine helicopter. That will be a challenging task, since Robinson Helicopter R66 Turbine hasn’t yet been seriously time-tested and risky conditions.
There are two members of the crew, and none of them is a professional pilot. Captain – Mr. Igor Gurzhuenko – is a private pilot, who had found his hobby of aviation and helicopters in 2009, aged 47. He currently has 800 flight hours experience, half of which are helicopter’s. 200 of them – on Robinson R66 helicopter.
Second crew member – Mr. Viktor Sidelnikov – flight navigator and engineer – hasn’t received flight license yet, but he has a sound base experience.
The length of the whole route will be about 30 000 kilometers, and the most part of it will take place over the wastelands, uninhabited, hard-accessible regions of Siberia, polar regions, Kamchatka. Considering all of the above, you can call us “completely crazy”, but we’d like to call ourselves brave adventurers, risky and daring, who are not afraid to face the troubles and proud to be the first big names in history of modern aviation.
“RUSSIA 360” helicopter expedition aims to consolidate prestige of the Russian Federation as an aviation State, to create and develop the aviation tourism market in Russia, as well as to form positive image of Russia in the opinion of foreign tourists and investors. Expedition will make the contribution to presence of Russia in the Arctic.
This expedition will have an important educational role. Most people of our country has an image of northern lands of Russian, based on old black-and-white pictures made in the middle of the 20th century. During “RUSSIA 360” expedition we intend to get unique photo and video materials, high-res photos and videos, using modern gadgets. All hard-accessible remote regions are going to be filmed. Also we suppose to issue a book and a movie about this expedition. These results will be interesting not only for specialists, but for kids as well. Kids will be able to learn more about Geography and History of their native country.
Single engine helicopter Robinson R66, equipped with the additional fuel tanks, navigation systems, survival kit and equipment for professional shooting and video recording will be expedition’s only transportation means along the borders of the Russian Federation.
R66 Turbine is the first gas-turbine helicopter made by Robinson Helicopter Company. Mass production started in 2010. Gas-turbine engine was developed for this model exclusively by British Company Rolls-Royce.
R66 Turbine has a lot of features of the previous model R44, including biblade carrier system, T-shaped cyclic pitch knob, and cab’s configuration. The main differences are increased reserve power, updated altitude performance, fifth passenger’s seat, xenon’s landing lamp together with LED ANO and spacious luggage boot, which during expedition will be taken by the additional fuel tanks.
Half of the expedition will take place over the dangerous and unpredictable polar north and arctic regions. These regions are known for bad weather and poor weather-forecasting level. In the past, these zones had a lot of weather forecasting and polar stations, they provided all the necessary information for the polar aviation about current weather and weather forecasts. Nowadays, there is no global weather report and surveillance system. There are rare and small airdromes, which usually don’t have meteorologists there. Moreover, there is no Internet connection in many areas of the route, which will create extra difficulties, because our crew wouldn’t be able to use weather forecast on-line sites. This means our expedition might be delayed by the weather condition in any part of the route – Yakutia or Chukotka, mountain region, without weather forecasts and without Internet connection.
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The expedition website in English: www.heliex.ru/en
Not to make mistakes, the text was copied from the official website.