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|A Kamov Ka-26 in flight|
|First flight||18 August 1965|
|Developed into||Kamov Ka-126|
The Ka-26 entered production in 1969. 816 have been built. A variant with a single turboshaft engine is the Ka-126. A twin turboshaft-powered version is the Ka-226. (All the Ka-26/126/128/226 variants are code-named by NATO as "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 crop duster versions. The helicopter can fly with or without the box attached for flexibility. It is powered by two 325 hp (239 kW) Vedeneyev M-14V-26 radial engines mounted in outboard nacelles.
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The Ka-26 is small enough to land on a large truck bed. The reciprocating engines are more responsive than turboshafts but require more maintenance. It runs mostly at 95% power in crop dusting with usually excess payload, leaving little reserve power for emergencies. Due to frequent overloads, the interconnect shaft joining the two engines is prone to breakage and requires frequent inspection.
The standard instrumentation of the Ka-26, like larger naval Kamovs, may be overkill for civilian or crop dusting use. The 18-dials cockpit panel masks a part of the right-downwards view, needed to avoid telephone and power lines at low altitudes. The instrument panel may be simplified to retain the six main dials. As there is a low rotor clearance at the aircraft front, it is approached from the rear when the rotors are turning.
The Ka-26 was used by some Warsaw Pact armies in the light paratroop or airborne role, but its slow (150 km/h) cruise speed compared with the Mil-2 (220 km/h) limits its military use. However, its shorter length (7.75 m) compared with the Mil Mi-2 (11.9 m) and smaller rotor diameter (13 m vs. 14.6 m) are advantageous when operating in an urban area. It has a longer range than the Mil-2 as well. The Ka-26 is eminently useful for crop dusting. 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 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. 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.
- Ka-26 Hoodlum-A
- One or two crew utility light helicopter, powered by two 325-hp (239-kW) VMK (Vedeneyev) 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 
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982–83 
- 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
- Maximum speed: 170 km/h (91 knots, 105 mph)
- Range: 400 km (215 nmi, 248 mi) (7 passengers, 30 min reserves)
- Endurance: 3 hr 42 min
- Service ceiling: 3,000 m (9,840 ft)
- Disc loading: 12 kg/m² (2.5 lb/ft²)
- Power/mass: 150 W/kg (0.09 hp/lb)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- "Gazpromavia – fleet". gazpromavia.ru. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "West Copter "about us"". westcopter.ro. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "World Air Forces 1987 pg. 44". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "Bulgarski voennovazdushni sili Ka-26". Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- World Air Forces – Historical Listings Mongolia (MON) Archived 2012-09-05 at the Wayback Machine. worldairforces.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-27.
- "Valstybes Sienos Apsaugos TarnybaLa-26". Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "World's Air Forces 1981 pg. 346". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "Magyar Légiero Ka-26". Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "Kamov Ka-26 in Sri Lanka Air Force". Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- Taylor 1982, pp. 204–205.
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