The Kamov Ka-26 helicopter made its first flight on this day om 1965. The Russian utility helicopter is power by two radial engines installed in pods outside the fuselage. Via a connecting drive shaft, these engines drive the coaxial rotors.
After a development and test phase, the Ka-26 helicopters started rolling o the production line in 1969. Besides the 'base model' Ka-26 also version were developed with a single turboshaft engine (Ka-126) and a twin turboshaft engine (Ka-226).
The aircraft cockpit has a place for a pilot and co-pilot. It is filled with a relatively large instrument panel that partly obstructs the view for the pilot out of the lower right side of the flight deck. The instrument panel can be simplified for crop-dusting to provide better visibility, only 6 dials then remain.
Aft of the cockpit a box can be installed depending on the mission, varying from crop dusting to passenger-carrying and medivac. The helicopter can also be flown without a box installed. The aircraft has 4 non-retractable landing gear struts and is narrow enough to land on the back of a truck.
The piston engines leave little room for emergency power as they are regularly run at 95% power during flight, while close to the maximum operating weight. The engines are interconnected by a shaft, however, this shaft has a tendency to fail and is therefore inspected at relatively short intervals. As a result of its low rotor clearance, the helicopter (with engines running) can only be approached from the rear. During crop-spraying operations, it was discovered that the airflow caused by the co-axial rotors created a good distribution of the chemicals, some even claiming that it resulted in the chemicals that make the pesticides settle underneath the leaves of the crop that is sprayed. Over the years different (sub)varients have been developed, some for production some only as a development platform, a small overview;
Ka-26, 850 built One- or two-crew utility light helicopter, powered by two 325-hp (239-kW) VMK (Vedeneyev) M-14V-26 radial engines
Ka-26SS, 1 built Testbed for the NOTAR technology used on the Ka-118 helicopter
Ka-126, 2 prototypes and 15 production aircraft built. One- or two-crew utility light helicopter, powered by one 720-shp (537-kW) OMKB "Mars" (Glushenkov) TVD-100 turboshaft engine. First flight in 1986
V-60, 1 prototype Armed escort version based on the Ka-126
Ka-128, one prototype Powered by a 722-shp (538-kW) Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 turboshaft engine.
Kamove Ka-226, ~270 built to date Six- or seven-seat utility helicopter, powered by two 450-shp (335-kW) Rolls-Royce (Allison ) 250-C20R/2 turboshaft engines Specifications for the standard Ka-26;
Crew: 1 (optionally 2)
Capacity: - 6 or 7 pax when passenger module fitted - 2 stretcher patients, 2 seated patients and medical attendant with medivac module - 900 kg (1,984 lb) pax or liquid chemical - 1,065 kg (2,348 lb) dusting or with platform - 1,100 kg (2,425 lb) with slung load
Length: 7.75 m (25 ft 5 in) fuselage
Width: 3.64 m (11 ft 11 in) over engine pods
Height: 4.05 m (13 ft 3 in)
Empty weight: 1,950 kg (4,299 lb) without passenger pod / platform / agricultural equipment
Gross weight: - 3,076 kg (6,781 lb) passenger version - 2,980 kg (6,570 lb) other versions
Max takeoff weight: 3,250 kg (7,165 lb)
Fuel capacity: 360 kg (794 lb) with pax ; 100 kg (220 lb) agricultural
Powerplant: 2 × Vedeneyev M-14V-26 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 242.5 kW (325.2 hp) each
Main rotor diameter: 2 × 13 m (42 ft 8 in)
Maximum speed: 170 km/h (110 mph, 92 kn)
Cruise speed: - 150 km/h (93 mph, 81 kn) max - 90–110 km/h (56–68 mph; 49–59 kn) economical
Agricultural operating speed: 30–115 km/h (19–71 mph; 16–62 kn)
Range: 400 km (250 mi, 220 nmi) with 7 pax,30 minutes reserve
Ferry range: 1,200 km (750 mi, 650 nmi) with auxiliary fuel tanks
Endurance: 3 hours 42 minutes at 90–110 km/h (56–68 mph; 49–59 kn)
Service ceiling: 3,000 m (9,800 ft)
Service ceiling one engine inoperative: 500 m (1,640 ft)