Quest Helicopters is launched at Dubai
New helicopter manufacturer will build aircraft in the UAE
Quest Helicopters has launched at the Dubai Air Show. The privately-owned company, headquartered in
Dubai, UAE, is
announcing plans to fund, develop, define and refine new technology for a
family of innovative new light twin engine and twin rotor system helicopters.
Originally Dubbed “Project Q,” the QUEST AVQ series will be
the first civil helicopters to be assembled and manufactured in Umm Al Quwain
in the UAE. Quest will build an assembly and production facility in the UAE, it aims to start production in 2014.
The UAE principals and investors in Quest Helicopters, a
subsidiary of Quest Investments, have pledged an initial investment of up to $50
million in the initial programme. Quest’s investment lends support to further
develop the expertise of design bureau chief, Vlodomyr Udovenko, overseen by
Academy of science and technology. Collaboration on the project has been
further bolstered by a proposed bilateral agreement between EASA and the Ukraine’s Civil
Aviation Authority enabling the new helicopters to be built with joint
cooperation and a parallel certification programme. The helicopters will be powered
by new engines from Progress DB/ Motor sich Ukraine, 2 x AI-450 M turbines with
FADEC, delivering up to 465 shaft horse power (shp) per engine.
Additionally, Quest Investments has recently signed an MOU
between Ukraine’s Academy of Science
and Abu Dhabi’s
Higher College of Technology and Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and
Training, to invest and develop specialist research into health, climate and
other technological advancements.
The initial four-seat model, which is highly competitively priced
at $2.95 million will have a range of 435 nm (700 kms), a maximum speed of 185
mph (295 kph), and a maximum endurance of 3.6 hours. The helicopter is expected to have a maximum
take-off weight of 4,960lbs (2,250 kgs) and empty weight will be 1,300 kgs.
Quest has a pavilion and has a full size mock-up of the
Quest AVQ with a VIP interior on display. The interior is designed by British
company “Design Q”, together with an actual prototype production capsule cabin.
Chief designer Volodomyr Udvenko said “I am delighted to
have the opportunity to realise my dream with the Quest AVQ series of
helicopters which will be utilising and incorporating unique technology in
primary control and safety systems. Our initial prototype helicopter will be
defining the technology as a test airframe and we expect the final production
models to reflect many refinements in look and systems. If it were not for the
vision of Quest’s Chairman Mahmood Al Ansari and his board of directors we
would not have the funding to develop this new technology..”
Commercial and deputy project director Mike Creed says “With
this new family of helicopters we are pursuing a niche market with a design
that combines the technological advances of the east, with many innovative
refinements from the west as well as adding some exciting commercial
enhancements. The result is “Quest’s AVQ” series of light twin engine
Helicopters which offer a low acquisition cost, robust airframe with “cutting
edge” new technology, low maintenance together with low operational costs.”
The goal is to produce 20 aircraft in the first year of
production, rising to 40 in the third year, working toward a five-year initial
plan to certification and production.