Kamov Ka-26

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Helikopter 5.jpg
Role Light utility
Manufacturer Kamov
First flight 18 August 1965
Introduction 1969
Status Active
Produced 1969–1985
Number built 816
Developed into Kamov Ka-126, 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 1969. 816 have been built. A variant with a single turboshaft engine was the Ka-126. A twin turboshaft-powered version is the Ka-226. (All the Ka-26/126/128/226 variants are codenamed "Hoodlum").


The 325-hp (239-kW) VMK (Vedeneyev) M-14V-26 radial piston engine of the Ka-26

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.[citation needed]

The main weakness of the Ka-26 is its powerplant. It is powered by two 325 hp (239 kW) Vedeneyev M-14V-26 radial engines mounted in outboard nacelles. 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 crop dusting 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.[citation needed] 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.

Due to the limitations of the Ka-26, USSR and Romania agreed under the Comecon trade to build a single engine version called Kamov Ka-126 which had better aerodynamics and range.

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[edit]

The Ka-26 was used by some Warsaw Pact armies in the light desant or airborne role, but its slow (150 km/h) cruise speed compared with the Mil-2 (220 km/h) limits its military use but its shorter length (7,75m) compared with the Mil Mi-2 (11,9m) was an advantage when operating in an urban area, also a smaller rotor (13m) than the Mil-2 (14,6m) is an advantage, it has a longer range than the Mil-2 as well. 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.[citation needed] Hungarian Kamov operators claim that coaxial rotors of the Ka-26 creates an airflow which allows pesticides to settle underneath, rather than on top of, the leaves, this means a much more effective distribution of pesticides, as most pests and parasites do not live on the top side of foliage. Additionally, the coaxial vortex system is symmetrical, allowing the distribution of the pesticide to be more uniform.


Kamov Ka-26 in aviation museum, Peenemünde, Germany
Ka-26 in aviation museum, Riga, Latvia
Ka-26 Hoodlum-A
One or two crew utility light helicopter, powered by two 325-hp (239-kW) VMK (Vedeneyer) M-14V-26 radial engines. 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 one 720-shp (537-kW) OMKB "Mars" (Glushenkov) TVD-100 turboshaft engine. First flown in 1986, built and developed by Industria Aeronautică Română in Romania. 2 prototypes and 15 series helicopter built.
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.


  • West Copter [2]

Former operators[edit]

 Sri Lanka

Specifications (Ka-26)[edit]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982–83 [10]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 6 passengers (cargo/passenger pod)
  • Payload: 900 kg (1,985 lb) (chemical hopper)
    • 1,100 kg (2,425 lb) (flying crane)
  • Length: 7.75 m (25 ft 5 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 2x 13.00 m (42 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 4.05 m (13 ft 3½ in)
  • Disc area: 265.5 m² (2,856 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1,950 kg (4,300 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 3,250 kg (7,170 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Vedeneyev M-14 V-26 radial piston engines, 239 kW (325 hp) each


See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ "Gazpromavia – fleet". gazpromavia.ru. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "West Copter "about us"". westcopter.ro. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "World Air Forces 1987 pg. 44". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Bulgarski voennovazdushni sili Ka-26". Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  5. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings Mongolia (MON). worldairforces.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-27.
  6. ^ "Valstybes Sienos Apsaugos TarnybaLa-26". Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "World's Air Forces 1981 pg. 346". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Magyar Légiero Ka-26". Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Kamov Ka-26 in Sri Lanka Air Force". Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  10. ^ Taylor 1982, pp. 204–205.

External links[edit]