Hip. The Mil Mi-8 is a Soviet-designed medium twin-turbine transport helicopter


Pravda Report


Published on Apr 9, 2013

The Mil Mi-8 (Russian: Ми-8, NATO reporting name: Hip) is a Soviet-designed medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship. The Mi-8 is one of the world's most-produced helicopters, used by over 50 countries. Russia is the main producer and the largest operator of the Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopter.

Mikhail Mil originally approached the soviet government with a proposal to design an all new two engined turbine helicopter after the success of the Mil Mi-4 and the emergence and effectiveness of turbines used in the Mil Mi-6 but the military argued against a new helicopter as they were content with the current Mil Mi-4. To counter this Mikhail Mil proposed the new helicopter was more of an update to new turbine engines rather than an entirely new helicopter which the council of ministers decreed shall be built. Due to the position of the engine, this enabled Mikhail Mil to justify redesigning the entire front half of the aircraft around the single engine (designed by Alexander Ivchenko originally made for fixed wing aircraft as all other soviet helicopter turbines had been up to that point).

The Soviet military originally showed little interest in the Mi-8 until the Bell UH-1's involvement in the vietnam war became widely publicised as a great asset to the United States, allowing troops to move swiftly in and out of a battlefield and throughout the country. It was only then that the soviet military rushed a troop carrying varient of the Mil Mi-8 into production. 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 only visible difference between the mi-8 and mi-17 is that the tail rotor is on the starboard side (right side) of the mi-8, whereas in mi-17 it is on the port side. Also mi-17 also has some improved armour plating for its crew. The naval Mil Mi-14 and attack Mil Mi-24 are also derived from the Mi-8. The Mi-8 remains in production in 2009.

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