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OTH-075 Mil Mi-8: 40 Years And Still Going Strong book
OTH-075 Mil Mi-8: 40 Years And Still Going Strong bookThe mid-1950s was a period in world helicopter construction which was marked by the emergence of the second generation of rotorcraft. Their distinctive feature was the use of gas turbines instead of piston engines, which, coupled with the high payload-to-weight ratio and improved aerodynamics, made it possible to increase the power output-to-weight ratio and, accordingly, the speed and the service ceiling. The new powerplant also reduced vibrations and lessened the risk of fire, simplifying maintenance at the same time. Second-generation helicopters possessed greater fuel efficiency as compared to their predecessors.
The first Soviet second-generation helicopter made its appearance in 1957. It was the Mi-6 heavy transport and troop-carrying helicopter. In the second half of the 1950s Mikhail Leont'yevich Mil', Chief Designer of Plant No. 329, considered developing qualitatively new machines in the light and medium-lift helicopter classes as well; these would supersede the first-generation Mi-1 and Mi-4 production helicopters. Experience gained in the process of developing the Mi-6 held promise of success. As early as 1957 Mil' 0KB personnel made some rough calculations of the parameters of the new machines. Whereas the Mi-1 was expected to be superseded by a single-engined helicopter, the Mi-4's successor was visualised as a twinturbine machine from the outset; this was designed to enhance safety and survivability - in the event of one engine failing the other engine would go to emergency power rating, enabling the helicopter to continue flight.
When summarizing the history of the design, development and operational service of the Mi-8, one can arguably draw a parallel between this helicopter and such world-famous machines as the American Ford Model T car and the legendary Douglas DC-3 airliner. While these were the epitomes of the highest technological achievements respectively in car and airliner construction, the Mi-8 must be recognized as their worthy counterpart among helicopters. It may be presumed that the Mi-8 and its versions will remain the most widely operated rotorcraft in the world for a few decades to come. To keep up the prestige of their progeny and win new markets, the helicopter constructors from the Mil' 0KB together with their colleagues in Kazan' and Ulan-Ude continue incessantly to improve their products, putting much effort into the certification of their machines and developing every year an ever growing number of new versions of this highly reliable, sturdy and economically efficient rotorcraft.
First flights and first changes
The Mi-8 in action
Transport and assault helicopters
Airborne command post helicopters
Search and rescue versions
Other military versions
Flying crane helicopters
Other civil versions
Basic specificatrions of the Mi-8 helicopter family
48 pages, 142 photos, english text
1. Mi-8 helicopter
2. A production Mi-8T in armed assault/transport configuration
3. UB-16-57 rocket pods on a Mi-8TV helicopter, 1968
4. The Mi-8MT (Mi-17) introduced more powerful engines which improved performance considerably. Outward identification features were the portside tail rotor and air intake dust. Unusually, this Mil' OKB demonstrator (SSSR-22367) carries 'Mi-18' nose titles
5. RA-70937, the prototype of the Mi-8MTV-5 (Mi-17MD) utility helicopter. The stepped nose incorporating a weather/navigator radar is the main external recognition feature of this version
6. This smart-looking Mi-8PS-7 (Mi-8APS), RA-27080, was used by Prezident B oris N. Yel'tsin. It has since been repainted in the Russian government flight's current grey livery
7. The Mi-8MTV-K flying crane prototype (SSSR-25444) at MosAeroShow'92; the operator's cabin supplating the rear clamshell doors is clearly visible
8. Mi-8MTV RA-27179 operated by Russia's Ministry for Emergency Relief (EMERCOM) lifts a shipwreck victim out the during a training session