Military Review

The legendary helicopter Mi-8 celebrates its 50 anniversary

Exactly 50 years ago, 2 August 1962, the first prototype of the multipurpose Mi-8 helicopter took off for the first time. Mi-8 (according to Hip's NATO classification) is a Soviet and Russian multi-purpose helicopter, created by the Mil Design Bureau M. Mil at the beginning of the 60s of the last century. It is currently the most massive twin-engine helicopter in the world, and is also among the most massive helicopters in the world. stories aviation. It is widely used to solve a large number of civilian and military tasks. The helicopter has been in service with the Soviet Air Force since 1967 and has shown itself to be such a successful type of equipment that its purchases for the Russian Air Force continue to this day. At the same time, the Mi-8 helicopter is operated in more than 50 countries of the world, including such countries as China, India and Iran.

During its half-century history of serial production and design work on the improvement of this helicopter, Soviet and Russian designers created an order of 130 of various modifications, produced more than 13 000 machines of this type. To date, these are the Mi-8MTV-1, MTV-2, MTV-5, Mi-8AMTSH, Mi-171, Mi-172 helicopters. In 2012, the Mi-8 is not just a jubilee - it is a first-class multifunctional helicopter, which today is one of the most successful products of the domestic helicopter industry. Even after 50 years, the car is in demand around the world and is even acquired by NATO member states. From 2006 to 2008, X-NUMX of Mi-26Sh military transport helicopters was delivered to the Czech Republic and Croatia.

Today, the Mi-8 / 17 production plants of Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant OJSC and Kazan Helicopter Plant OJSC, which are part of the Russian Helicopters holding company, function stably and are loaded with orders for the production of these helicopters for the 2 years ahead. At the same time, work on the modernization of this machine is continuously ongoing. OJSC Moscow Helicopter Plant M.L. Mile "today assembles the first prototype of an upgraded version of the Mi-171А2 helicopter, and the technical appearance of this helicopter is also defined. The helicopter was created on the basis of the Mi-171 helicopter and should be a worthy option for the development of the entire family of Mi-8 helicopters.
The legendary helicopter Mi-8 celebrates its 50 anniversary
Mi-8P passenger

It is planned that these helicopters will receive new avionics, and composite materials will be used in the design of the machine, which will make the helicopter significantly lighter. In addition to this, all major units and systems of the machine were upgraded, its flight and technical characteristics were increased. Total upgrades include about 80 innovations. In this case, the crew of the helicopter will be reduced to 2-x people, which will significantly affect its economic efficiency.

During its history, the Mi-8 family of helicopters took part in a large number of local conflicts, they saved thousands of human lives, withstood severe Siberian frosts, catastrophic heat and extreme temperatures, desert dust and tropical storms. Mi-8 flew at extremely low altitudes and high in the mountains, were based outside the airfield network and landed in hard-to-reach places with minimal maintenance, each time proving their high reliability and efficiency. Created in the middle of the last century, the multipurpose helicopter Mi-8 is today one of the most sought-after in its class and for many years to be in demand in the Russian and international aircraft market. Over the years, the production of the Mi-8 has become the basis for many unique developments, for example, the amphibious helicopter Mi-14.

The design of the Mi-8

The Mi-8 helicopter was made using a single-rotor scheme with a tail rotor, a three-bearing chassis and two gas turbine engines. The fuselage of the car has a frame structure and consists of a bow, center, tail and end beams. In the nose of the helicopter is a crew cabin for three people: two pilots and flight mechanics. The cockpit glazing provides the helicopter crew with a good overview, the right and left blisters are made movable and equipped with emergency dropping mechanisms.

In the central part of the fuselage was a cabin measuring 5.34 x 2.25 x 1.8 meters. In the transport version, it had a cargo hatch with doors that increased its length to 7,82 m. And a central sliding door the size of 0,62 by 1,4 meter, which had an emergency drop mechanism. There was an electric winch and mooring knots on the floor of the cargo compartment, and an electric winch boom was mounted above the door itself. The helicopter's cargo cabin was designed for transporting loads weighing up to 4 tons and was equipped with folding seats, which could accommodate 24 passengers, there were also attachment points for 12 stretchers. At the request of the customer, an external load suspension system can be installed on the helicopter: articulated-pendulum for 2500 kg. and cable for 3000 kg., as well as a winch with a load capacity of 150 kg.

In the passenger version of the helicopter, the cabin measured 6.36 x 2.05 x 1.7 meters and was equipped with 28 seats, which were placed in the 2 row on each side with 0.74 spacing meters and 0.3 passage m. the doors were made under the rear entrance door, which consisted of a ladder and doors.

The tail boom of the helicopter had a riveted structure of the beam-stringer type and was equipped with a working skin. It was supplied with knots for fastening of a tail support and a controlled stabilizer. The helicopter was equipped with a stabilizer of 2.7 size m. And an area of ​​2m2 with the profile of NACA 0012, its design was single-spar.

The helicopter chassis was tricycle, non-retractable. The front landing gear was self-orienting and consisted of 2-x wheels measuring 535 x 185 mm. The main supports of the shaped-type helicopter were equipped with liquid-gas two-chamber shock absorbers and wheels of size 865 x 280 mm. The helicopter also had a tail support, which served to prevent the tail rotor from touching the ground. The support consisted of a shock absorber, 2-x struts and support heel. The chassis gauge was 4,5 meters, the base of the chassis was 4,26 meters.
Mi-8T Serbian Air Force

The power plant of the helicopter included 2 turboshales of the GTE with the free TV2-117AT turbine produced by the St. Petersburg NPO. V.Ya.Klimova. On Mi-8T helicopters, its power was 1250 kW, the Mi-8МТ, AMT and MTB installed a TVZ-117МТ turbine with a power of 1435 kW. Gas turbine engines were mounted on top of the fuselage and were covered with a common hood, which has opening flaps. The engines of the helicopter were supplied with dust protection devices, their weight was 330 kg.

The fuel system included a consumable fuel tank with a capacity of 445 liters, a right hanging tank with a capacity of 680 or 1030 liters, a left hanging tank with a capacity of 745 or 1140 liters, and an additional tank in the cargo cabin with a capacity of 915 liters. The helicopter transmission consisted of 3-x gearboxes: the main, intermediate and tail, rotor and brake shafts. The main gearbox of the helicopter provides power transfer from engines that have 12 000 rpm output shafts to the rotor at 192 rpm and also to the steering screw at 1 124 rpm and the 6 021 fan / min, which serves to cool the main gearbox and engine oil coolers. The total mass of the helicopter oil system is 60 kg.

The control of the helicopter was duplicated, with cable and rigid wiring, as well as hydraulic boosters, which were driven from the redundant and main hydraulic systems. The available four-channel autopilot AP-34B provided the helicopter with stabilization in flight at the rate, roll, altitude and pitch. The main hydraulic system of the helicopter ensured the operation of all hydraulic units, the pressure in the system was 4,5 MPa, the backup system ensured only the operation of the hydraulic boosters, the pressure in it was equal to 6,5 MPa.

The Mi-8 helicopter was equipped with a ventilation and heating system that supplied cold and heated air to the passengers and crew cabins. Also, the helicopter had an anti-icing system that protected the steering and propeller blades, as well as the air intakes of the engines and the front windows of the crew cabin from icing. Equipment for instrument flights in adverse weather conditions, as well as at night, included artificial horizon, a combined course system, a radio altimeter, an automatic radio compass, and an 2 rotor speed indicator.


Currently, the Russian Armed Forces continue to buy Mi-8 helicopters. As part of the state defense order up to 2020, the Mi-8AMTSH vehicles must go to the troops. Mi-8AMTSH - is an assault military transport helicopter (export designation Mi-171Sh). The helicopter is designed to combat armored ground, surface, mobile and stationary small targets, to destroy enemy personnel, transport troops, cargo, wounded, as well as perform search and rescue operations. The helicopter was developed at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant in close cooperation with OAO MVZ im. M.L. Mile.

To solve combat missions, the helicopter can be equipped with a system of missile and small arms and cannon armament, as well as a set of means of protection against destruction, sanitary and amphibious transport equipment, as well as instrumentation and electronic equipment that allows the helicopter to fly at any time of the day, including and in adverse weather conditions. At the same time, the conversion of the Mi-8AMTSH helicopter from the combat version to the sanitary or airborne transport does not take much time and can be carried out directly during the preparation for the flight to perform the corresponding mission.
Mi-8AMTSH (export version of the Mi-171Sh)

To increase the combat survivability of the vehicle, this helicopter is equipped with an ASO-2B automatic deflector-discharge device, an EVA screen-exhaust device, a set of removable armor plates that cover the crew, protected by hanging fuel tanks, as well as fuel tanks with polyurethane foam filler.

The crew includes:

- the commander - the left pilot, is engaged in piloting the helicopter, carries out aiming and use of unguided weapons; when launching guided missiles, it performs a “shooting” mode.
- the second pilot, is engaged in piloting a helicopter to help the commander of the crew; performs the functions of the operator of the "Sturm-V" complex when searching for targets, launching and targeting guided missiles, and also performs the duties of a navigator.
- the flight mechanic, in addition to performing his full-time functions, also performs the functions of the stern and bow machine-gunners.

The main distinguishing feature of the Mi-8AMTSH helicopters was the inclusion of the modern-purpose “Igla-B” air-to-air missile in the composition of their armament. The complex of high-precision guided missiles "Sturm" allows you to effectively hit armored vehicles, including those equipped with dynamic defense, low-speed air targets, manpower and fortified enemy locations. In terms of the range of possible weapons, MI-8AMTSH came very close to the attack helicopter Mi-24, while having a greater variability of use.

Information sources:

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  1. Svistoplyaskov
    Svistoplyaskov 2 August 2012 07: 57
    Helicopter legend!
    Congratulations to the creators and crews! And the helicopter itself with the anniversary!
    1. dreamer
      dreamer 2 August 2012 08: 32
      A workhorse reliable like the legendary AK. Happy anniversary!!!
      1. Svistoplyaskov
        Svistoplyaskov 2 August 2012 10: 29
        Today is my birthday! If I can start helicopters then let it be Mi-8! drinks
        1. dreamer
          dreamer 2 August 2012 10: 31
          Quote: Whistling
          Today is my birthday! If I can start helicopters then let it be Mi-8!

          Congratulations drinks Health, happiness, success in personal life and all the best! fellow
        2. IRBIS
          IRBIS 2 August 2012 10: 34
          Happy holiday fellow ! Do not fly far away! There today, somewhere else, the landing will be flying, who on what !!! laughing
          1. Svistoplyaskov
            Svistoplyaskov 2 August 2012 10: 50
            Quote: dreamer
            Congratulations to Health, happiness, success in personal life and all the best!

            Thank you so much! And all the best to you!
            Quote: IRBIS
            Happy Holiday! Do not fly far away! There today, somewhere else, the landing will be flying, who on what !!!

            Thank you so much! Glory to our dispatchers!
      2. VAF
        VAF 2 August 2012 10: 31
        Quote: dreamer

        A workhorse reliable like the legendary AK

        Lyosha, I agree, +! The car was created ... you’ll download and the potential for modernization is huge ..... and the Ulan-Udins, well done, pulled up their AMT to the world level !!!

      3. ALPETSEM
        ALPETSEM 2 August 2012 11: 46
        Yes, a workhorse, what would we do without the Mi-8th ...
    2. Rikoshet
      Rikoshet 2 August 2012 15: 00
      I always wondered why the name is always duplicated by the NATO classification — what difference does it make to us as they call it for their own needs. Can anyone explain? Or is it already in the blood an inferiority complex — that everything in our expression is cooler!
      Like a hot dog!
      Interestingly, the Americans write in their articles like, "we decided to drive a pair of F 22 in the Russian classification-shmurnyak-Israelis"
      It is from such trifles that respect or its absence for one’s language is formed.
      Indeed, Ostap suffered! We can’t even force Moscow to write everything as it should, but how the mosquito cow Moscow-but the first to learn how to write Kyrgyzstan and Tallinn, but Mishas Saaaaakashvili-made everyone call George a president, this is the President, and here we are again
  2. Indigo
    Indigo 2 August 2012 08: 28
    Really - Anniversary. When designed, Madam Luck was in a good mood, and it costs a lot, which we see. Keep it in the future, Good luck, for a warm place !!!
  3. M. Peter
    M. Peter 2 August 2012 08: 30
    Our U-UAZ does. good
  4. IRBIS
    IRBIS 2 August 2012 08: 41
    I have all kinds of different memories and life experiences connected with this type of helicopter. I have not seen a more reliable car! If I personally met those who created it, I would kiss them in all accessible and inaccessible places! Thank you, fellow designers! And a separate admiration for our pilots, who turned these helicopters with their professionalism and skill into a living organism! Happy anniversary!
    1. dreamer
      dreamer 2 August 2012 08: 45
      Quote: IRBIS
      If I personally met those who created it, I would kiss them in all accessible and inaccessible places!

      I understand your emotions, but do you really think that this will be pleasant for the creators of the helicopter? Particularly alarming is the desire to kiss in inaccessible places! laughing
      1. VAF
        VAF 2 August 2012 10: 33
        Quote: dreamer
        Do you really think that the creators of the helicopter

        Lyosha, and if they also solve this "problem, then ...... in general .. no words, how great it will be !!! fellow

        1. viktorrymar
          viktorrymar 2 August 2012 11: 59
          And what are these capacities? maybe some fire option? or what kind of chemistry?
          1. VAF
            VAF 2 August 2012 13: 41
            Quote: viktorrymar

            And what are these capacities?

            Additional fuel tanks, there is an option or one for 915 liters or two (as in this case) of 460 liters. Connected to a single helicopter fuel system. But two are better than one, since you can even sit on them, but when you have one, then this is the problem ... only one can, and even then ... lying ... recourse

    2. Srgsoap
      Srgsoap 2 August 2012 10: 22
      The pilots of these machines are really pros, I remember seeing the plot, as a pilot closed a matchbox with a nose-resistant landing gear, alas, I can’t find it on the internet.
      1. VAF
        VAF 2 August 2012 13: 25
        Quote: SrgSoap
        like a nose-resistant landing gear, the pilot closed the matchbox, alas, I can’t find it on the internet.

        You say that correctly, there is such a thing, although the boxes must be fixed very strongly, usually they were lined with bricks. that would not "fly away" ..... along with the bricks .... laughing after all, the downward flow can you imagine what. !!!

        But the guys are master of their craft !!!

        as a souvenir photo ... though the box is no longer visible !!! wink

        1. Srgsoap
          Srgsoap 2 August 2012 14: 07
          What a downward stream I imagine, the first time I flew on it at 13, the second time I made a jump.

          For photo as always good hi
          1. 755962
            755962 2 August 2012 16: 25
            We, the demobilized soldiers on the Mi-8 from Kutaisi to Tbilisi were dragged. It was shaking like firewood. Well, it might be out of habit. Unexpressed ... Yes, even home ... There is a noise of wind and freedom in my head. Everything was mixed up. The adrenaline went off scale.
        2. saturn.mmm
          saturn.mmm 2 August 2012 20: 05
          Quote: vaf
          for memory photo

          The antenna of the SPS-5M2 "Fasol" jamming station is installed on the Mi-8 helicopter. You posted a photo like that. It turns out that we have one in Gomel (Republic of Belarus), in a museum, in the center of the city; today he even used his hands to touch.
  5. Yuri11076
    Yuri11076 2 August 2012 08: 43
    A respectable age for the workhorse of the Russian Air Force ...

    PS Great helicopter ...
    1. lelikas
      lelikas 2 August 2012 13: 35
      At the Festival Bazykin swung the pendulum - the helicopter dived to the ground from 30-40 meters, passed the lowest point, lifted its nose, and then "flew backwards" - dived forward with the tail boom and took off the same way, and he did it 10 times and a meter away land.
  6. M. Peter
    M. Peter 2 August 2012 09: 05
    I really like the work of N. Anisimov. Here is a song about Mi-8.

  7. sergey69
    sergey69 2 August 2012 09: 20
    Helicopter legend. By popularity, it is on a par with the Kalashnikov assault rifle. In Soviet times, it accounted for the bulk of the export of helicopter technology, as it is now in Russia. A real workhorse. I wish him to remain in production for another 50 years in new modernized versions. I am glad that the designers continue to modernize it and delight customers with new options.
  8. AK-74-1
    AK-74-1 2 August 2012 09: 50
    Great machine.
  9. Srgsoap
    Srgsoap 2 August 2012 10: 18
    Wonderful car.
    1. VAF
      VAF 2 August 2012 10: 36
      Quote: SrgSoap

      Wonderful car.

      I fully support, +! And the greatest masters of their craft fly on them !!!! drinks

      Well, traditions are strictly observed !!! drinks

      1. dreamer
        dreamer 2 August 2012 10: 41
        Quote: vaf
        Well, traditions are strictly observed !!!

        Sergey, thank you very much for the photo with the banknote, I also saw it several times and said that it had been so since the Soviet times. Names of countries and political system change, and traditions last forever hi
        1. VAF
          VAF 2 August 2012 12: 19
          Quote: dreamer
          I also saw and said repeatedly that this was the case since Soviet times. Names of countries and political system change, and traditions last forever

          Lyosha, that's why Aviation is strong, that traditions are observed ... let's not talk about sad things and spoil the holiday, all the same, they will let their base down. that all the "reform" is being done right .... fool

          One of the traditions is that after the first independent departure, the hero of the occasion sets up “departures”.

          The roots of this tradition go far back to the pre-war years.
          "Departure" cigarettes are "Kazbek" cigarettes (namely "Kazbek", and no others!), Which each cadet brought to the airfield on the day of an independent departure, and immediately after the flight was treated with these cigarettes to everyone "in the square".

          2-3 packs were laid out for general use in the smoking room, one pack was presented to his instructor, flight commander, AE commander, flight manager, inspector, who performed the flight for admission to the first independent departure.

          And on one of the packs, friends leave their signatures, sometimes brief wishes, as a keepsake of this significant date.

          In addition, there was a tradition for the first independent gift of cognac to the instructor and link commander.

          If there were no flights the next day, but more often it was at the end of the week on Saturday, some instructors invited the hero of the occasion to “wash” the event to their home.

          The instructors, who were warned by the instructor and responsible for the aeronautics, pretended not to know anything and not to notice anything, but they made sure that the returning cadets were not incurred for further exploits, and in some cases the most "fun" ones, gently but persistently put to bed.

          But to buy "Kazbek" even in those years was not so easy (many were sent by parents specifically for the described case),
      2. Srgsoap
        Srgsoap 2 August 2012 10: 48
        What's the catch? drinks
        1. VAF
          VAF 2 August 2012 12: 04
          Quote: SrgSoap

          What's the catch?

          My friend, we, in aviation (and the same space program) have a lot of traditions and their own laws, which have always been and are being carried out at all times !!!

          This helicopter was legalized in the winter of 1995, in Khankala, before releasing ... a piece of paper ... any .... then everything will be .. as needed and .. as taught !!! fellow

          1. Srgsoap
            Srgsoap 2 August 2012 12: 17
            Of course I have heard about signs, traditions and laws, but I don’t know what specifically, I’ll be glad if you enlighten on this topic, interesting. Thank you for the visual illustration .... as always, everything good
            1. VAF
              VAF 2 August 2012 13: 46
              Quote: SrgSoap
              Of course I have heard about signs, traditions and laws, but I don’t know what specifically, I’ll be glad if you enlighten on this topic, it’s interesting

              Well, it's like some other time, frets +!
              Here you can write a poem. so many things ..... wink

              Today is all, the little brothers have advanced from the event, so it's time to kindle the fire !!! fellow drinks
              1. Srgsoap
                Srgsoap 2 August 2012 14: 09
                No problem, take care of the liver. drinks
            2. pernaty
              pernaty 2 August 2012 19: 07
              In the Air Force of the Navy of pilots who made their first independent landing, even on Thread, I hit my ass with a hook (hook for hooking on cables).
  10. borisst64
    borisst64 2 August 2012 10: 36
    Unique car! There is something to be proud of Russia !!
  11. Captain3
    Captain3 2 August 2012 11: 11
    A unique helicopter, long life to him !!!
  12. hv78yuhf
    hv78yuhf 2 August 2012 11: 47
    An amazing country - amazing people, it was necessary to steal the database from specials. of services
    and put it on the Internet, I'm just amazed. And now everyone can find out information about each of us.
    When I saw it, I got scared at
    because everyone has access to my phone numbers, addresses, personal correspondence in social services. networks.
    You never know what idiots there are. But I already figured out and deleted my page, which I advise you to and quickly !!!
  13. Bob's
    Bob's 2 August 2012 12: 16
    Congratulations and success in the future! drinks
  14. TROG
    TROG 2 August 2012 13: 35
    Hero Helicopter !!!
  15. Captain Vrungel
    Captain Vrungel 2 August 2012 19: 39
    A hard worker and a reliable combat friend. On these "turntables" in the Afghan mountains, helicopter pilots wrote such pirouettes that they would not even dream about. How many lives were saved thanks to this machine and the virtuosity of helicopter pilots. Aces of the border aviation from Mary were pulled out of such holes. Happy anniversary to all who created this reliable workaholic with their own hands.
  16. MI-AS-72
    MI-AS-72 2 August 2012 20: 23
    At the solemn event in Panki, a very strong impression was left by Boguslaev's performance (if it were not for him we would have been left without engines for helicopters), such personalities in the vastness of the former Soviet Union are only him and Mikheev, that's all. And it's great that the "aerobatics" was played by MI-8AMTSh, on which a completely modernized Ukrainian engine is being tested.
  17. Okcug32
    Okcug32 2 August 2012 21: 56
    Probably the best helicopter of all time. I think they didn’t come up with a better one, and they won’t come up with sooooo long. No one has such a hard worker. I am proud of the country that gave us this miracle. Thanks to the designers!
  18. flanker7
    flanker7 2 August 2012 23: 12
    Bow to designers and for many years this beautiful car!
  19. Chicot 1
    Chicot 1 3 August 2012 10: 42
    For any veteran !!! drinks Deserved car !!! bully Ideal transport turntable !!! good

    And on its base was made Mi-18 - an elongated version. But he did not go into the series, there were only experimental cars ... What a pity ... The pinwheel turned out to be excellent ...
    1. Chicot 1
      Chicot 1 3 August 2012 21: 21
      And this is a photo of the Mi-18. Museum in Torzhok ...
  20. Captain45
    Captain45 3 August 2012 10: 55
    And I fly on it every two weeks to work and from work. The equipment is of course trouble-free, snowstorm, wind, night polar on a drum. The only thing is, there are almost no old crews left, and the young ones can’t fly like that already because of the weather. Yes, and I would like a newer car to the airline, otherwise already this year I would sit down on the emergency twice, then the oil pump, then the chips in the engine. Sensations .. ..
  21. Captain45
    Captain45 3 August 2012 19: 26
    That's how the hard workers of the tundra carry us - Mi-8 and we are very happy when they arrive on time!
  22. kosmos84
    kosmos84 3 August 2012 20: 53
  23. sazhka0
    sazhka0 4 August 2012 07: 08
    I am glad. Very much. I took part in it.
  24. Bad_gr
    Bad_gr 4 August 2012 15: 04
    In Afghanistan, the Mi-8 passenger (business trips) dashed off perhaps more than all other transport combined. At 83, getting into a helicopter was generally easy: you approach the pilot, ask where he is flying, if in the right direction, ask if he will take a fellow traveler. Most often taken. The question has never been raised about any kind of payment for the road. But starting from the 84th year, this complicated everything: it was no longer necessary to approach the pilot, but to the dispatcher, he put you on the list, and then he’ll lie down like a card.

    They asked the pilots for 4 lamps "Lipa" for the steam room - they honestly worked for us (though there were some drawbacks: from the light the face is going into a fist, it was necessary to cover something).
    And from the Mi-8 blade into the room they made a heating battery.
    The front part of the blade (about 1/3) is a duralumin D-shaped pipe with an anti-icing system (nichrome tapes are pressed into the rubber), and this part was used for heating, and everything is superfluous (2/3 of the cellular filler and its coverings) just chopped off with an ax. Whole blade in the room and did not intermeddle closely, sawed it in half and folded in half. We experimentally picked up how to connect anti-defrosting system tapes so that the rubber would not burn and that the heating would be sufficient. According to my estimates, it turned out somewhere around 3,5 kilowatts. Enough for the room.