Mi-26: the largest helicopter in the world
Mi-26: the largest helicopter in the world

Mi-26: the largest helicopter in the world


The fact that airplanes are large and simply huge, almost everyone knows, but few people know that over 35 years ago, made its first flight helicopter Mi-26 - the largest helicopter to date worldwide.



Mi-26 It was designed in the mid 70-ies of the last century, and its first flight rotor helicopter made in 1977 year. The main purpose of creating the largest helicopter in the world was the task assigned to aircraft designers to develop a large transport vehicle, which is suitable for civilian purposes, and for military applications. The first field trials Mi-26 took place in 1988, when a unique military operation took place, connected with the transportation of another Mi-8 helicopter shot down in Afghanistan on an external sling. It is worth noting that an official Guinness record was set for the largest helicopter in the world, due to the fact that in September 1996, the Mi-26 lifted 224 parachutists on board to a height of 6.5 kilometers.

To date, the helicopter is designed to serve many roles, but primarily associated with military applications. Fighting rotor helicopter can carry on its board a great number of passengers that is comparable only to that of an airplane. Nevertheless, the largest helicopter the world has a small range of flight - when the maximum filling tanks, but with no cargo, it can fly only about 800 kilometers, after which, the Mi-26 require refueling.



To better understand how large is actually a the largest helicopter in the world, imagine that the length of the helicopter 40 meters, the diameter of its rotor main rotor has a size equal to 32 meters, and the width of the cargo compartment is 3.2 meters. Really, Mi-26 represents the largest helicopter in the world, and when taken it seems that designers simply attached to the fuselage of the aircraft lifting screw, thereby obtaining a gigantic aerial machine.



The main types of application Mi-26:

  1. Military aircraft - transport and landing of combat units as well as military equipment, including armored.
  2. Civil aviation - transport of passengers and goods over short distances.


Today, the release of Mi-26 continues, as does the need for large helicopters is growing every day.


The biggest helicopter in the world, who not only fly, but also can carry quite heavy loads, a Mu-26. This machine can be operated in a fairly tough Arctic conditions and at the same time raise the load, which is not up to any other helicopter. The air flow from the blades of the machine is so powerful that it is able to break the branches of the trees and the people fell to the ground.


The history of the helicopter 


This helicopter model has been fully completed by the end of the year 1960. Every year dozens of such giants entered the service in the army, and he came to civil organizations, where he worked for the good of the motherland. On the basis of such an air machine has been created even more severe in the helicopter-12. Sam Mi-26 was developed on the basis of no less famous Mi-6.

Mi-26 23E-26 545

The development of the country made great demands on aircraft. For this reason, the designers came up with the idea to improve the existing Mi-6 and create a newer Mi-26. The new machine should lift even larger loads, up to 20 tons, and transport them a distance of 500 kilometers. Just as for military operations, as well as for civilian use, the new apparatus must be raised to a height of one kilometer or more. The heavy helicopter was a new generation car, its working name was "90 product". The design of the 90 product, or Mi-26, was approved at the end of 1971. The construction of the first model began in 72 year, and after three years the helicopter was accepted by the State Commission. Heavy helicopter Mi-26 only in December 77 year fulfilled its first flight, and it lasted only three minutes. The first working models were completed for military use, and only after a few more years the civilian organizations began to supply this machine.


Features of the cargo helicopter Mi-26


Civilian helicopter model has been put into production only 85 year. From war machine civilian version differed essentially only navigational equipment. It differs as suspension system, through which it was possible to provide the best transport of sea containers. Specially developed platform will increase the speed of transportation to 200 km / h. To use the machine in the mountains to his capture has been developed by which it was possible to transport firewood.

E-26 engine

This helicopter has a number of advantages and records, which he installed even before entering mass production. Back in 1982, he was able to take a cargo of mass in 25 tons and climb with it to an altitude of 4 thousand meters, and completely the entire mass of the helicopter at that time was slightly more than 56,7 tons. On this machine, Irina Kopets set nine world records when a woman was at the helm. In August 88-th record was that the crew of Mi-26 was able to fly in a closed circle length of 2 thousand kilometers at an average speed of 279 km / h. In this flight pilots had to go through a strong meteorological front.


Mi-26 is able to transport any military equipment, the mass of which does not exceed 20 tons. All military equipment can be loaded with its own power through the rear hatch of the helicopter, which is opened by two doors. As for the manpower, in such a cargo helicopter you can safely place an 82 soldier or 68 paratroopers in all equipment. In the event of military action, such a helicopter can be quickly equipped for transportation of the wounded, which can be placed on stretchers, in which case 60 soldiers and three accompanying doctors can fit. At long flights it is possible to install additional fuel tanks directly in the cargo hold.


Description Mi-26


The largest contribution to the development and production of a new generation helicopter made directly with the designers GP Smirnov and his colleague AG Samusenko, chief designer was appointed OP Bach. Customer have been set very high requirements for the new machine, which have not been implemented yet in any model helicopter. To solve the problem of heavy-duty, designers had to resort to the use of a new engine with a capacity of 20 thousand horsepower.


When designing the machine, much attention was paid to the choice of the main rotor and its qualitative parameters. After many experiments special metal-plastic blades were made, which gave a significant increase in efficiency. The carrier screw was designed and assembled with 8 blades and had 28 meters in diameter. The use of new materials allowed to reduce the weight by 40%, it turned out even easier than the five-bladed weight of the Mi-6. The bushing of HB of such a large size was decided to be made of an alloy of titanium, which allowed to reduce its total weight, and the strength did not decrease. Compared with the Mi-6, the tail propeller from the Mi-26 was a very revolutionary design move, because it was made of fiberglass, and Mi-6 had a wooden propeller.

E 26 description

The big challenge for the designers task remained to connect two motors in one piece with reducer, for that used a specially designed gearbox BP brand-26. The main feature of the gear was that designed and built it not dvigatelisty, and as it was before, in the company Mile. Innovation in the manufactured gearbox allowed to transfer to the main screw twice as much power than it was in the Mi-6.


Like it or not, and the weight for all air units is the main problem. Constructors and then were able to use new materials, which have reduced the weight of the machine weight to the Mi-6, but the cargo bay and the cockpit was increased almost twice. It should be noted that the increase in the unit size and weight reduction not reduced strength and stiffness of the helicopter fuselage.


Experienced designers took into account the shortcomings and vulnerabilities of all previous models of helicopters. The main changes also touched the air intakes. Before them was installed a dustproof device, which allows to purify the air by 70%. This innovation allowed the takeoff from dusty areas, while the engine power was practically not reduced. In Mi-26, the maintenance of the machine was well thought out. In order to do without airfield services, a new system for cleaning the APU was installed on the helicopter. Also thought over the comfortable work of mechanics, since they always needed to resort to the use of a ladder, and now all the hoods are made in the form of work platforms.

For easy loading and unloading the helicopter is equipped with two winches, which have a lifting capacity in 5 tons. It is also an opportunity to raise and lower the loading ramp with the help of hydraulics and control this device can be from the cockpit, with the loading bay, and even outside of the machine itself. With regard to the loading, then it is possible to note that the designers did a really great job, because there are many functions for more convenient loading with both the car and the ground.


Helicopter equipment produced according to the latest achievements of science and technology. At Mi-26 weather radar was installed, which allows flight in all weather conditions and at any time of the day or night. This device is very precise and allows you to calculate the area of ​​flight in 1900 km area, and time to prepare this device just 10 minutes. This helicopter was installed three channel autopilot, the newest system of recording of the flight data and message recording, which allows you to inform the crew about the dangers and failures.


The Mi-26 cargo helicopter can rightly be considered the star of air shows all over the world, as well as the owner of many world awards and records. However, in recent years, namely, after the collapse of the USSR, the costs of armament and the release of this legendary car have significantly decreased. But the history of this unit is far from over. Recently, this type of helicopter is widely used for commercial purposes in the territories of many states. The first models of this helicopter could fly without repair for six hundred hours, and to date civil models can fly up to 1200 hours without repair. Total operating time of Mi-26 is 20 years or 8 thousand hours.

E-26 inventor

To date, the production of helicopters Mi-26 continues, but in small quantities, and for special orders.


Mi-26 modification

  • In-29 - prototype

  • Mi-26 - military transport option

  • Mi-26A - improved version

  • Mi-26M - designed for improved performance and equipped with new navigation equipment and new propeller.

  • Mi-26MS - medical option

  • Mi-26NEF-M - anti-submarine version; on the external sling he carried a hydroacoustic station for detecting submarines, there is a side removable cockpit of the pilot operator, currently located in the flight museum in a semi-disassembled state. November 16 Rostov-on-Don at Rostvertol.

  • Mi-26P - civilian version on passenger 63

  • Mi-26PK - “flying crane”

  • Mi-26T - civil transport option

  • Mi-26T2 - an updated basic model of round-the-clock use with a reduced number of crew members and a new avionics. Serial production of the upgraded helicopter is planned to begin in 2012.[4]

  • Mi-26TC - cargo option

  • Mi-26TM - “flying crane”

  • Mi-26TP - fire option

  • Mi-26PP - jammer

  • Mi-26TS - export version of Mi-26T

  • Mi-26TZ - tanker

  • Mi-27 - air control station


fuselage design also has a number of innovations that allowed to surpass the Mi-6 on the characteristics of the cargo compartment nearly doubled.


Mi-26 characteristics

Mi-26 characteristics


Normal take-off mass of the helicopter is 49600 kg. Maximum speed 295 km / h. Flight range 800 km. Ceiling 4600 m.




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