US play catch up! Ch53k the 35 ton
Ru make the 38 ton Helo!
CH-53k MTOW is 38.4 metric tons, i.e. marginally higher than this Ru-Chi project,
and it will be in service well before this project is (first flight "around" 2020), so hardly "catching up".
This project seems set for better internal volume and likely a cheaper price, but MTOW and service date are not the #s to crow about.
from China Daily source:
The new helicopter's production will be based in China, he said, adding it will use the Ukraine-made Lotarev D-136 turboshaft engine at the initial mass-production stage.
"Our existing turboshaft engines' maximum output power is about 1,000 kilowatts, not powerful enough to propel the heavy-lift helicopter. The Chinese engineers are developing a 5,000-kilowatt turboshaft engine that can be used by the aircraft in the future," he said.
OK, they are saying the engine will be developed by China, but that may very well may mean there will be Chinese involvement in a largely Russian engine program.
Now this source is saying they are planning initial flight tests with the same D-136 engines as current Mi-26... Which given the MTOW is about 2/3 of Mi-26 would seem over-powered, albeit that perhaps isn't a problem per se... If the final 5000kW engines are used in a twin set-up, that would put the power:MTOW equivalent to Mi-26 (which could use 3x of the same engines in re-engined version). But strangely the very equivalent CH-53K uses 3x 5000 kW engines, i.e. nearly the same power as Mi-26 for ~2/3 MTOW (akin to this Chi-46). I suppose tweaking the engines for hot & high performance like HAL/Turbomeca's Shakti engines may account for some of this power/MTOW disparity, but I still feel like I'm missing something there... And if this Chi-46 (for lack of better term at this point), uses 3x 5000kW engines like it's equivalent CH-53K, that would mean a re-engined Mi-26 should probably be using at least 4, which seems crazy. If this Chi-46 used 2x and the Mi-26 NEO used 3x that would seem in line with current power:MTOW of Mi-26, but I don't know why CH-53K is departing from that so much...?