Friends of the Helicopter Museum

Kamov Ka-26 D-HOAY/ DDR-SPY/ DM-SPY, History and Restoration

Ka-26 DDR-SPY History

Photographed in March 2002, with restoration at an advanced stage (left), the Kamov Ka-26, D-HOAY/ DDR-SPY/ DM-SPY was built in Russia in 1970. It was used in East Germany, by Interflug, as a light transport as well as for agricultural duties. The Ka-26 was designed to carry interchangeable pods for freight, passengers, chemical spray-bars or a dust-spreader. Alternatively a hook was available for crane work and slung loads.

In addition to the detachable sections carried to the rear of the cockpit, features of the Ka-26 include two contra-rotating co-axial 3-blade glassfibre rotors, two podded radial engines on high-set stub wings, and twin tail booms carrying tailplane, fins and rudders. There was large scale use of composite materials, aluminium panels sandwiched in glassfibre, in the machine's construction.
About 850 Ka-26 were built. It was the most successful Soviet helicopter to be exported commercially and was bought by at least 15 countries.
Kamov continues as the only company producing helicopters, in quantity, with twin coaxial rotors. In May 2004, they announced that production of thirty of their Ka-226 helicopters had begun. Four of these, from an order for 22, entered service with Gazprom, in 2006, and are employed on pipeline patrol and maintenance duties. Two have been delivered to the Security Services, for border patrol, and a further two have been supplied to the Moscow police.
The Ka-226 is derived from the Ka-26 and has the same modular design, with interchangeable pods and the same easy maintenance and controllability. It benefits from US-built twin Rolls-Royce (Allison) 250-C20-R/2 450hp turboshaft engines along with improved rotors and equipment. Turbomeca's Arrius 2G2 engines are also available in export versions of the Ka-226, known as the Ka-226T.


Kamov Ka-26, DDR-SPY, Restoration

DDR-SPY's mast and coaxial rotorheads were cleaned and refurbished before being painted in their original colour.


Above left:   Starboard engine in September 2001 following restoration and renovation. The two Vedeneyev 325hp M-14V-26 nine-cylinder radial piston engines were derivatives of the M-14P fixed-wing series. M-14P and 14PF engines are still in use in large numbers around the world, many powering Sukhoi SU-26, Yak-52 and other Russian light sports aircraft famous for their aerobatic capabilities. The M-14P, built by Aerostar in Romania, is now probably the only radial aircraft engine in production anywhere in the world. Click to enlarge.

Above right: 
By 24th April 2002 the cowlings had been replaced on the engines, been painted and had the "Interflug" lettering applied. The original lettering must have been removed following German re-unification but traces were still visible when old coats of paint were stripped. Click to enlarge.
Above left:   Kamov Ka-26 cockpit controls and instruments in May 2002, following restoration. Click to enlarge.
Above right:  Kamov Ka-26 cockpit overhead switch panel on 27th April 2002. Click to enlarge.


November 2002 and six rotor blades are being cleaned up and painted in preparation for installation on the Kamov Ka-26.
In early June 2002 Roger painted the Ka-26's DDR-SPY registration on the tail booms having made his own paper stencils from masking tape.
Veniamin Kasyanikov (left in group), Deputy General Designer of the Kamov company in Russia, was photographed beside The Museum's Kamov Ka-26. One of a  party visiting The Museum on 19th September 2002, from the European Rotorcraft Forum meeting in Bristol, he offered to try to locate a passenger pod to complete the restoration.
On 28th September 2002 the Ka-26, DDR-SPY, was moved from the Hafner (Restoration) Hangar into the main Exhibition Hangar. To make this possible the tail plane and booms were removed temporarily. Rotor blade installation finally took place three weeks later (see below), and the rudders were fitted on 27th November. In December 2002 some of the navigation lights and cockpit electrics were activated. The Ka-26 is now in its planned permanent position, close to four other Russian machines in the Collection. The tail of the Mi-24D 'Hind' is just visible to the left (above,) with the Mi-4 'Hound' in the background.
In February 2004 a passenger cabin 'pod' arrived from Hungary and, following restoration, is now displayed adjacent to DDR-SPY.

Flying a Kamov Ka-26

We are always interested to hear from website visitors who have experience of the helicopters which are being restored at The Museum. In June 2005 we heard from a pilot with Ka-26 experience. His emails and photographs can be seen on another page.
The Ka-26 restoration was officially unveiled, on 18th December 2002, by Elfan ap Rees, founder of The Museum and Chairman of the Museum Trustees. He congratulated the restoration team of retired aircraft engineers, Gerry Bartlett (team leader), Roger Bayliss, Ben Brooks, Dennis Knowles, Derek Palmer, Keith Ringer and Alan Taylor, on a superb job. Click to enlarge.
Installation of Kamov Ka-26 rotor blades in the Display Hangar, on Wednesday 13th November 2002, following mast positioning in late February 2002 and refurbishment of the six blades.



The Ka-26, with passenger cabin, flies in Interflug colours as DM-SPY.
Thanks to John Wegg for letting us use this copyright photograph (probably taken around 1975).
to Restoration Highlights 
Other Helicopters in 'Restoration Highlights'