Military Review

Super heavy Russian-Chinese helicopter: what will it be and will it be at all?

Last Tuesday a working meeting of the Russian-Chinese commission on the preparation of regular meetings of heads of government was held in Harbin. The Russian delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister D. Rogozin, included representatives of several ministries. From the Chinese side, government officials also attended the meeting, and Vice Premier Wang Yang headed the Chinese delegation. During the meeting, some issues of international cooperation in the economic and industrial fields were discussed.


After the meeting was over, Russian Deputy Prime Minister D. Rogozin read out some interesting facts. According to him, China is actively interested in Russian developments in the field of heavy helicopter and asks for some information. At the same time, the requested data is significantly different from the characteristics of the largest in Russia and the world transport helicopter Mi-26. From this fact, Rogozin draws the appropriate conclusions. According to a senior official, in this case we are talking about the creation of a new super-heavy transport helicopter. The capacity of this helicopter, according to the deputy prime minister, should be about twice as large as the Mi-26.

Rogozin believes that such a promising project has a great future and does not agree with the opinion that there is no demand for such equipment in the modern aviation market. Currently, there is only a discussion of the very possibility of a joint project. However, Chinese aircraft manufacturers, according to the Deputy Prime Minister, are ready to begin the first consultations in the framework of a joint project. Thus, in the near future, the signing of relevant agreements and the start of a project to create a super-heavy transport helicopter can be announced.

For obvious reasons, very little is currently known about this possible project. Firstly, there is still no exact data on whether such a project will be launched or not, and secondly, the technical appearance of the future helicopter now looks extremely vague. In fact, in addition to the approximate capacity, nothing is known. Therefore, in discussions news most often considered the need for such technology. Indeed, the creation of such a helicopter with a record-carrying capacity is too difficult to take on it, without sufficient reason.

In the context of a possible joint project of a super-heavy helicopter, it is worth recalling the Soviet project B-12, also known as Mi-12. Helicopter В-12, created in the design bureau ML. Mile made its first flight 45 years ago - in July 1968. During the tests, the unique twin-screw cross-circuit machine set several capacity records. The maximum load that the first of the B-12 prototypes could lift was equal to 44205 kilograms. This record set by 6 August 1969 of the year has not been beaten by anyone yet. However, despite the unique capabilities, the B-12 helicopter remained at the testing stage. Both prototypes currently serve as museum exhibits; one of them stands on the territory of the Moscow ML helicopter plant. Mile, the other - in the Air Force Museum in Monino.

B-12, also known as Mi-12

Now, while discussing the prospects for a possible Russian-Chinese project, the B-12 helicopter is interesting for two reasons. The first is the fundamental possibility of creating a workable and serviceable helicopter with a payload of more than 40 tons, i.e. twice as much as Mi-26, as Rogozin mentioned. The second reason for interest in B-12 lies in his sad fate. This helicopter was created for the transportation of various large cargoes for military purposes, including ballistic missiles. It was supposed to use it in conjunction with heavy military transport aircraft An-22 "Antey". In this case, the plane was supposed to deliver cargo to the nearest airfield, where an overload took place on B-12 helicopters. The latter were supposed to deliver the equipment to the specified areas. However, by the end of the development and testing of B-12, it became clear that the rocket forces no longer needed such complex logistic schemes, and other transport tasks of the armed forces could be solved with the help of cheaper and more massive Mi-6 and Mi-8 helicopters. As a result, the record B-12 was out of work.

Of course, a helicopter similar to the B-12, at the present time could be of interest not only to the military, but also to various commercial structures. Having a tonnage of 40 tons and good for its size flight characteristics, this machine is able to perform various tasks for the delivery of cargo, beyond the power of other helicopters. At the same time, such a rotorcraft will have to fight for a place in the sun. Despite the interesting and unique characteristics, such a helicopter is unlikely to be able to immediately fit into the existing system of transportation.

The development of helicopter during the previous decades has identified a niche of this class of technology. The overwhelming majority of rotor-wing machines produced have a payload of no more than 3-5 tons, which speaks quite clearly about the needs of potential customers. In other transport sectors, where a large mass of goods is involved, other vehicles are usually used, from airplanes to automobiles.

You can also recall the commercial success of the largest at the moment serial helicopter Mi-26. Since the early eighties, more than three hundred such machines have been built, but most of them are being used in Russia and in the post-Soviet space. Orders from third countries also take place, but they almost always imply the delivery of read units of equipment. This fact can also be considered confirmation of the needs of the market.

As a result, a controversial situation has already developed around the not yet developed helicopter. High performance should attract the attention of potential customers. The ability to transport cargo weighing about 40 tons in combination with purely helicopter take-off and landing characteristics is a more than interesting offer. The flip side of the coin are vague real prospects. With all its advantages, such a helicopter is unlikely to be needed by a large number of customers, which will correspondingly affect the number of machines built and, as a result, the cost of the project.

The hypothetical super-heavy helicopter, as well as its predecessor B-12, is already locked up in a narrow and specific niche at the very first discussion stage. In the current situation, the next option for the development of the project looks most convenient and convenient. It is necessary to carry out work on the preliminary study of the appearance of a promising helicopter, and then analyze the project and decide whether it can fit into the existing logistics systems, primarily in the armed forces. If a superheavy helicopter finds a place and work in the structure of the domestic air force, then the project should be continued. If such a machine risks being unclaimed, then our country should minimize its participation in the project, without wasting time, money and money on the creation of obviously unnecessary equipment. It is likely that in case of successful completion of negotiations and the start of a joint project, China will go the same way and will also try to determine whether it needs a similar helicopter with high performance and an ambiguous future. As for supplies to third countries, one should take into account the obviously low prospects in this regard and focus primarily on their own needs.

However, considering the prospects of a hypothetical Russian-Chinese super-heavy helicopter, we should not forget one more thing connected with the military-technical cooperation of Russia and China. For several years now there has been talk of the creation by the two countries of a joint project of a wide-body long-haul airliner. It is noteworthy that after the international working meeting on Tuesday, D. Rogozin spoke about this project. Nevertheless, despite the long-standing appearance of this idea and the statements of officials of the highest level, to this day the project is at the stage of the earliest discussions and consultations. No one can guarantee that a joint project of a super-heavy helicopter will not repeat the fate of the expected, but in no way begun, development of a long-haul airliner. Thus, all discussions on the prospects of a new rotorcraft are limited by the intentions of the parties. Moreover, due to the lack of real plans, all such discussions may become completely useless.

What will be a promising super heavy transport helicopter and whether it will be at all, while it is too early to say. So far, there are consultations on the possibility of starting a joint project and the details have not yet been determined. Perhaps the common features of a promising machine will be known in the very near future. However, it is not surprising if the hypothetical project will remain at the stage of conversations and discussions. At the moment there are a sufficient number of arguments for him and against him. Therefore, the officials of Russia and China can make any decision, and the interested public can only wait for the relevant statements and news.

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    NOMADE 23 August 2013 08: 32 New
    Ми - 12, уникальная машина. А Китайцы, видимо под предлогом "совместного" производство, просто опять хотят получить всю нужную информацию и технология для своего 3D Принтера.. am
    1. Greyfox
      Greyfox 23 August 2013 08: 55 New
      In fact, the article correctly states that the question is whether such a helicopter is needed? If the Chinese need it, let them pay for the development and e ... with refinement themselves. Critical technologies cannot naturally be transferred to them.
      1. Constantine
        Constantine 23 August 2013 10: 20 New
        Quote: Greyfox
        Critical technologies cannot naturally be transferred to them.

        The Chinese are likely to rely on just that. wink
    2. alone
      alone 23 August 2013 11: 20 New
      I don’t understand, is it really necessary to develop someone to develop Russian helicopter industry! You have so many opportunities for this. Most likely, again, someone wanted to make money on kickbacks))))
      1. Artyom
        Artyom 23 August 2013 13: 55 New
        in my opinion it’s better to build a heavy class airship, from an economic point of view it is more profitable than a helicopter and there is no competition hi
        1. ramsi
          ramsi 23 August 2013 15: 54 New
          40t airship?!.
          1. Bersaglieri
            Bersaglieri 23 August 2013 22: 27 New
            It is possible at 400. And at 4000. In principle, there is no problem in scaling for a rigid circuit using modern structural materials.
            1. ramsi
              ramsi 23 August 2013 22: 42 New
              funny, I am silent about volumes ... But, I wonder what if you make the shell stiff (with internal struts) and generally pump out the air?
              1. alex86
                alex86 25 August 2013 19: 32 New
                It’s easy about volumes - 1 m3 with hydrogen (and even with helium) has a load capacity of 1 kg, i.e. 40 tons - 40 m000, even if another 3 tons - dead weight, i.e. 40 80 m000, this is (conditionally) 3x30x30 m - for an airship a modest size. Well, pumping air is surely a joke.
                1. ramsi
                  ramsi 26 August 2013 09: 03 New
                  Quote: alex86
                  ... Well, deflate the air - I'm sure a joke.

            2. Basarev
              Basarev 27 June 2014 11: 53 New
              They say that the scheme of Tsiolkovsky with its all-metal airship looks especially promising in this regard. Such even flew, however, in the USA. Call ZMC-2. He became the only airship of the Tsiolkovsky scheme. More than ten years of successful flights. Only the beginning of the war stopped him forever - was disassembled for metal.
  2. svskor80
    svskor80 23 August 2013 08: 54 New
    Such a joint venture with the Chinese looks doubtful. It’s better to think up and build a helicopter ourselves, for some reason I’m sure that Russia can do it, and the Chinese can’t be allowed to use a new technique for the cannon shot, they’ll only sell obsolete technologies
  3. Iraclius
    Iraclius 23 August 2013 09: 16 New
    Mi-12 was unnecessary in the vast USSR. Why is it needed in today's Russia? what
    Lifting functions are easily performed by the Mi-8. Even specialized Mi-10k air cranes were unnecessary. But there are modifications of Mi-26 which, it seems, are still being released. 20 tons he raises without problems.
    Yes, and raise, say, Chinook for him is not a problem.
  4. solomon
    solomon 23 August 2013 09: 55 New
    From this project, China needs technology, and what does Russia need? Helicopter?
    1. apostrophe
      apostrophe 23 August 2013 15: 41 New
      Profit, frames
    2. rks5317
      rks5317 24 August 2013 14: 18 New
      Loot on personal accounts ... The stench of high treason is everywhere ...
  5. Constantine
    Constantine 23 August 2013 10: 19 New
    The idea is certainly interesting, but I see this helicopter only in two areas: Military logistics and logistics for hard-to-reach spots. However, the second, most likely refers to the development of new areas of our vast country as for already mastered, Mi-8 and Mi-26 are quite enough. smile
    1. abrakadabre
      abrakadabre 23 August 2013 12: 07 New
      Ответ лежит на поверхности - китайцы рвутся к технологиям, до которых они еще не добрались. Остальные "экономические" соображения и их доводы - от лукавого. Сейчас они могут себе позволить заявленную статьей разработку с результатом "в корзину". Зато получать технологии в данной области. И уж потом будут делать то, что действительно им надо.
      The project to send to hell clearly.
      High-tech products must be sold, and not taught to others to make them.
      1. AVV
        AVV 25 August 2013 00: 08 New
        The Chinese steal everything, and then expose as their own, do not teach anything of ours, again they want to step on the same rake !!!
      2. Basarev
        Basarev 27 June 2014 11: 57 New
        So I say - you should surround China with a kind of cocoon, cut it off from modern technology. And then systematically, deliberately and prudently lower its technical level. Let’s drop a little lower than the DPRK - and only then it will be possible to breathe quietly.
    2. rks5317
      rks5317 25 August 2013 13: 16 New
      That's right, for China to develop Siberia and the Far East ...
  6. max702
    max702 23 August 2013 10: 46 New
    It is also needed very much, now it’s not 60 years old and in the north it is full of such cargoes, and there you can’t bring anything except a helicopter, the question is what is the cost of the product during transportation. although there are situations when you give away absolutely any money if only the work was done ..
  7. _KM_
    _KM_ 23 August 2013 10: 50 New
    Maybe the Chinese need an extra-heavy helicopter for purposes similar to the Soviet ones? Those. for the transport of [nuclear] weapons. Or for a possible attack on Taiwan?
    1. alone
      alone 23 August 2013 11: 23 New
      belay Maxim, how do you imagine the attack on Taiwan with Mi-26 or Mi-12 helicopters?
      1. _KM_
        _KM_ 23 August 2013 16: 12 New
        I don’t think that such a helicopter is needed as a combat helicopter. But as heavy transport is possible. For example, prompt delivery of ammunition and equipment.
  8. Paul
    Paul 23 August 2013 11: 30 New
    Quote: _KM_
    Maybe the Chinese need an extra-heavy helicopter for purposes similar to the Soviet ones? Those. for the transport of [nuclear] weapons. Or for a possible attack on Taiwan?

    maybe 40t - you can already carry the tank :)
    1. alone
      alone 23 August 2013 12: 33 New
      it’s easier to equip the tank with a propeller))) and attack with tankers)))) wassat
  9. Dimka off
    Dimka off 23 August 2013 12: 31 New
    can't they make such a helicopter themselves? because the Russian people can do anything. These collaborations are not needed at all. Giving a potential enemy good technique is not clear.
    1. alone
      alone 23 August 2013 12: 32 New
      and rollback? who will give it to the official, if everyone will do it themselves?))) you argue non-politically)))) wink
  10. Chicot 1
    Chicot 1 23 August 2013 12: 59 New
    I did not understand the subtle Rogozin humor. And is China here? .. Or are we already without any kind of Indian-Chinese-Brazilians unable to independently develop and build aviation equipment? ..
    My firm and unchanging opinion is that there is nothing to transfer serious aviation technologies to the Han people, and even more so to organize joint projects with them. If they are really as smart as they want to imagine, then they will figure it out for themselves. And if not, then their level is cast iron smelting in the garden and races for sparrows in rice fields ...
    Да и не желаю я, чтобы бесценный научно-технический потенциал моей страны вот так запросто раздаривали всякой азиатской шушере, которая вдруг возомнила себя "великой державой"...
  11. Svetlana
    Svetlana 23 August 2013 14: 08 New
    Quote: Artyom
    it’s better to build a heavy class airship

    maybe this is a thermal airship? (see http: //
  12. pensioner
    pensioner 23 August 2013 14: 37 New
    That's all I see how in the North, with the delivery of machinery, materials, equipment and people to the place of work, they are tormented ... In my unenlightened opinion, such helicopters would have removed a lot of problems. Recently, our organization had a problem: how to deliver our equipment to Bavonenkovo. Diameter 1400mm, weight about 7 tons, total length 6 meters. To Salekhard - I see. And then ...
    1. Chicot 1
      Chicot 1 23 August 2013 14: 43 New
      Quote: retired
      Recently, our organization had a problem: how to deliver our equipment to Bavonenkovo. Diameter 1400mm, weight about 7 tons, total length 6 meters. To Salekhard - I see. And then ...

      With such dimensions and weight, the dissolution (a la pipe carrier) will also cope. If there is a road of course. And if she is not, then ...
      Mi-26 on an external sling. If he already pulled the half-disassembled Tu-134, then he will certainly cope with your problem ... wink
      1. pensioner
        pensioner 23 August 2013 16: 21 New
        Quote: Chicot 1
        Mi-26 on an external sling.

        Mi-6 was considered. It seems that it turned out very expensively. I don’t know the details for sure - there is someone there to do this business. As the main option was considered: on the DT-30 equipment, people - on 8ke. There was another option: to Arkhangelsk by road, and then by sea. On what I have now stopped, I soon find out.
        1. Chicot 1
          Chicot 1 23 August 2013 17: 30 New
          Quote: retired
          Mi-6 was considered. It seems like it turned out very expensive

          What to do, air transport is not a cheap pleasure ...
      2. svp67
        svp67 23 August 2013 18: 19 New
        Beautiful, but from this angle in general ...
      3. svp67
        svp67 23 August 2013 18: 20 New
        Но вот ЭТОТ снимок - "+100500"
    2. desava
      desava 24 August 2013 06: 24 New
      Quote: retired
      I’m just watching how in the North, with the delivery of machinery, materials, equipment and people to the place of work, they are tormented ...

      A similar thought came to my mind too. After all, sooner or later it will be necessary to develop Siberian and Yakut hard-to-reach areas. And loads weighing from 20 to 40 tons in industry in abundance.
  13. makst83
    makst83 23 August 2013 14: 39 New
    If the Chinese have an extra-heavy helicopter, then it will be worse than the Mi-26!)
  14. denson06
    denson06 23 August 2013 15: 20 New
    Видел Ми-12 в МО, г.Монино в Музее ВВС России - стоит у самого входа слева - он просто красавец.. и очень крупная "птица".. огромен просто. По впечатлениям он гораздо крупнее, чем на картинке в статье..
  15. spirit
    spirit 23 August 2013 17: 36 New
    US engineers tested the unique Aeroscraft hybrid airship.
    Самолет-дирижабль "напичкан" самыми последними достижениями науки и техники. Он сделан из специального суперпрочного и легкого волокна, созданного на основе углерода. Длина испытанного аппарата 70 м, но серийный будет вдвое длинней. Он поднимет в воздух 66 тонн груза.
    Aeros hopes that Aeroscraft will transport global cargo for the commercial and military sectors, with the ability to load and unload cargo without re-ballasting, more economically, delivering cargo to its destination with the lowest emissions.

    here are some good ideas.
    1. ICT
      ICT 23 August 2013 21: 38 New
      here, too, people draw pictures
    2. abrakadabre
      abrakadabre 26 August 2013 08: 33 New
      Maybe they did. But why computer graphics, and not a photo of a tested sample?
  16. Freem2012
    Freem2012 23 August 2013 18: 10 New
    The Americans are designing a heavy helicopter with a payload higher than that of the MI-26. Experienced transmission to him is already there.
  17. Vtel
    Vtel 23 August 2013 20: 18 New
    Everything rests on the profitability of this project, whether then its production + maintenance will pay off + the need for new technologies, especially large blades. The Chinese certainly need to fuck all the technology for a good living. They probably need it very much - people need to be transported a lot.
  18. xomaNN
    xomaNN 23 August 2013 21: 01 New
    Ладно, в 90-е когда не было своих денег, готовы были продаться за бугор за три алтына. А сейчас, что? Знают же , что китайцы нормально хотят спереть технологию и наработки и под именем "большой китайский вертолёт TYU 32 " сами его строить.
  19. Svetlana
    Svetlana 23 August 2013 22: 02 New
    Since China is interested in the joint development of a superheavy helicopter, it would be necessary to agree with China to invest in the construction of a new plant for the production of superheavy helicopters in Russia, which could be located, for example, in Arsenyev, Primorsky Krai, since China already has helicopter specialists there nearby.
    One of the options for the appearance of a superheavy helicopter could be a thermal airship with a rotating disk-shaped shell, on the equatorial perimeter of which blades are fixed to create additional lifting force.
  20. Internal combustion engine
    Internal combustion engine 24 August 2013 06: 34 New
    The lobbyists of the western air companies that have entrenched in our government are against both the wide-body airplane and the helicopter. They are generally against everything new in our aviation. Therefore, nothing will come of it.
  21. Svetlana
    Svetlana 24 August 2013 08: 53 New
    Quote: ramsi
    What if you make the shell stiff (with internal struts) and generally pump out air?

    Unfortunately, then the shell will be crushed by external atmospheric pressure: not yet enough strong and lightweight materials have been invented to create a light and durable evacuated shell.
    1. ramsi
      ramsi 24 August 2013 20: 15 New
      Well, I don’t know ... submarines are not so thick, and there the pressure difference is much greater. You can try the honeycomb design and not in two, but in three planes; can be divided into blocks by cubic meter ... Even if it comes out at the level of hydrogen - the game is worth the candle
      1. Svetlana
        Svetlana 25 August 2013 12: 39 New
        Поясните пожалуйста Вашу фразу "Даже если выйдет на уровне водорода " - что имеете в виду?
        1. ramsi
          ramsi 25 August 2013 17: 51 New
          Actually, I meant lift, but in terms of application - not an airship, but rather, a loading platform, if, of course, we get sane sizes
  22. Djubal
    Djubal 25 August 2013 12: 49 New
    China then why? 40 tons payload .. 30 for armor 10 for armament ..and to Taiwan with a full hold of Chinese special forces :)
  23. lisiy prapor
    lisiy prapor 31 August 2013 00: 53 New
    при том, что у ми-26 какой-то процент мощности движки тратится на гашение реактивной силы - то при тех же движках(х2) можно тягать и 50 т., а это ужо т-80(47 т.) может поддержать воздушно-десантную операцию. А вертак сделать такой, что-бы в горизонтальном полёте он был "автожиром"(увеличение скорости и радиуса)
  24. lisiy prapor
    lisiy prapor 31 August 2013 01: 01 New
    only to do it in Russia will soon be no one. Which of the youth have at least one familiar turner, milling machine operator, etc.? Solid managers, lawyers and economists.
  25. michurinec
    michurinec 13 October 2013 20: 45 New
    The Chinese do not have a helicopter school at all. Why is this all?