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Kamov Ka-26

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,


Role Light utility
Manufacturer Kamov
First flight 18 August 1965
Introduced 1966
Status Active
Produced 1966-
Number built 850
Variants Kamov Ka-226

The Kamov Ka-26 (NATO reporting name Hoodlum) is a Soviet light utility helicopter with co-axial rotors.


The Ka-26 entered production in 1966. 850 have been built. A variant with a single engine was the Ka-126. A turboshaft-powered version is the Ka-226. (All the Ka-26/126/128/226 variants are codenamed "Hoodlum").


The fuselage of the Ka-26 consists of a fixed, bubble-shaped cockpit containing the pilot and co-pilot, plus a removable, variable box available in medevac, passenger-carrying and cropduster versions. The helicopter can fly with or without the box attached, giving it much flexibility in use. The Ka-26 is small enough and handles well enough to land on a large truck bed.

The main weakness of the Ka-26 is its powerplant. It is powered by two 325 hp (242 kW) Vedeneev M-14V-26 radial engines mounted in off-board gondolas. The reciprocating engines, although more responsive than modern turboshafts, are relatively maintenance intensive. The Ka-26 is underpowered with its two radial engines, especially when used in cropdusting role, where excess payload is common. No other helicopter exists in the world that runs at constant 95% engine power for most of its flight regime. This leaves the pilot with little power reserve for emergencies. Due to frequent overloads, the interconnect shaft which joins the two engines is prone to breakage and requires frequent inspection.

The standard instrumentation of the Ka-26 resembles that of larger naval Kamovs and is considered excessive for civilian or cropdusting use. The large cockpit panel with its 18 main dials obscures a significant part of the right-downwards view direction from the cabin, which is crucial to avoid telephone and power lines in agricultural and other low-altitude roles. It is common practice to replace the instrument panel with a simplified layout, retaining only the six generally useful dials for better vision.

The low height of the lower rotor requires passengers and crew to approach from the rear when the rotors are turning, as it is low enough to contact a person's head at the front of the aircraft.

Operational history

The Ka-26 was used by some WARPAC armies in the light desant or airborne role, but its slow (150 km/h) cruise speed vulnerability limits its military use. It is, however, eminently useful for cropdusting. The coaxial main rotor configuration, which makes the Ka-26 small and agile, also results in a delicate airflow pattern under the helicopter, providing a thorough yet mild distribution of chemicals onto the plants. The Ka-26 is often used to spray grape farms in Hungary, where conventional "main rotor and tail rotor" layout helicopters would damage or up-root the vine-stocks with their powerful airflow.


Kamov Ka-26
Kamov Ka-26
Ka-26 Hoodlum-A
One or two crew utility light helicopter, powered by two 325-hp (243-kW) VMK (Vedeneyer) M-14V-26 radial piston engine. 850 built.
NOTAR technology testbed for the Ka-118 fitted with tail jet beams.
Ka-126 Hoodlum-B
One or two crew utility light helicopter, powered by a 720-shp (537-kW) OMKB "Mars" (Glushenkov) TVD-100 turboshaft engines. First flown in 1986, and built under licence by IAR in Romania. Built in small numbers.
A prototype light armed escort helicopter based on the Ka-126.
One prototype, powered by a 722-shp (538-kW) Turbomeca Arriel 1D1 turboshaft engine.
Kamov Ka-226
Six or seven seat utility helicopter, powered by two 450-shp (335-kW) Rolls-Royce (Allison ) 250-C20R/2 turboshaft engines.


Military operators

 Sri Lanka
  • (police)

Civil operators

 Soviet Union
 East Germany

Specifications (Ka-26)

Data from {name of first source}

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 6 passengers
  • Length: 7.75 m (25 ft 5 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 2x 13.00 m (42 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 4.05 m (13 ft 3 in)
  • Disc area: 265.5 m² (2,856 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,950 kg (4,300 lb)
  • Useful load: 900 kg (1,980 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,250 kg (7,170 lb)
  • Powerplant:Vedeneev M-14 V-26 radial piston engines, 239 kW (320 hp) each


See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

External links

Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.

Published in July 2009.

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