Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The world's most-produced helicopter

The Mil Mi-8 (NATO reporting name "Hip") is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship. The Mi-8 is the world's most-produced helicopter, and is used by over 50 countries. The prototype V-8 was designed in 1960 based on the Mil Mi-4 with a larger cabin. Powered a 2,010 kW Soloviev turboshaft engine, the V-8 first flew in July 1961. The second prototype equipped with two 1,120 kW (1,500 shp) Isotev TV2 engines, made its first flight on 17 September 1962. For the production version the rotor was changed from a four blades to five blades in 1964. After a few changes it was introduced into the Soviet Air Force by 1967 as the Mi-8. There are numerous variants, including the Mi-8T which is armed with rockets and anti-tank guided missiles, in addition to carrying 24 troops. The Mil Mi-17 export version is employed by around 20 countries; its equivalent in Russian service in the Mi-8M series. The naval Mil Mi-14 and attack Mil Mi-24 are also derived from the Mi-8.

On the photo above: Mil Mi-8 of the USAF 6th Special Operations Squadron during a military exercise.
On the photo below: LTC(ret) Oleg Bezverkhnii near Mi-8 in the Helsinki Aviation Museum.
Read more about Mi-8 at
See Mi-8 firefight and rescue operations demo at the airshow