Russian Helicopters, November 07, 2014 - Moscow - Crews on board Russian military Mi-26 helicopters have discovered a new island in the Arctic Ocean.
The island was identified from the air above the Vasilevsky shallows by two Mi-26 helicopters that were carrying equipment from the Yakutian port of Tiksi to the Novosibirskie Islands.
This geographical discovery expands the Russian Federation’s territorial waters by 452 square kilometres.
The discovery was made in 2013, but was not made public until it had been scientifically verified.
Many Arctic islands are unique in that they are formed, not from rock but from ice covered by a layer of subsoil. Over time, the ice melts, and these ‘islands’ disappear. That is why the geographical discovery made by the Mi-26 crews was officially announced after a year had passed and hydrographic service specialists had been able to carry out research confirming that the patch of sandy soil measuring 370 metres by 125 metres, rising to less than one metre above Vasilevsky shallow waters was indeed an island.
The new island was named ‘Yaya’ – as every member of crew on board the Mi-26s started saying, excitedly, ‘I found it, I found it’ (‘ya’ means ‘I’ in Russian).
Mi-26 helicopters, which are used to transport cargo in the Arctic zone, are the largest heaviest-lifting series produced helicopters in the world, and can transport up to 20 tonnes of equipment and large cargo on an external sling or internally. Mi-26 helicopters are also used in transporting paratroopers, injured people, fuel, and for fighting fires. The helicopter is produced at Rostvertol, a Russian Helicopters company. The Mi-26T is the commercial variant.
Flight tests are currently being carried out on the modernised Mi-26T2 helicopter, which boasts reduced crew numbers, a ‘glass’ cabin, the latest avionics, and which can be operated any time of day or night.
Rostvertol, a Russian Helicopters company, produces a wide range of Mi- helicopters and carries out repair and modernisation work on helicopters, supplies aviation engineering materials and provides related services. Currently Rostvertol is involved in the series production of new generation military helicopter Mi-28N Night Hunter (Mi-28NE export variant); the Mi-35M combat support helicopter; and the world’s heaviest multirole transport helicopter – the Mi-26T.