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Mi-2

The Mil Mi-2 (NATO reporting name is Hoplite) is a small, lightly armored transport helicopter that could also provide close air support when armed with 57 mm rockets and a 23 mm cannon.

 

Design and development

The first production helicopter in the Soviet Union was the Mil Mi-1, modelled along the lines of the S-51 and Bristol Sycamore and flown by Mikhail Mil's bureau in September 1948. During the 1950s it became evident, and confirmed by American and French development, that helicopters could be greatly improved with turbine engines. S. P. Isotov developed the GTD-350 engine and Mil used two of these in the far superior Mi-2. After initial development at the Mil bureau (Soviet designation V-2) this was transferred to Poland in 1964, after the first Świdnik-built example had flown. PZL-Świdnik has since delivered many hundreds, possibly one-third of them to military customers, and developed plastic rotor blades and the wide-body Mi-2M seating 10 passengers instead of eight. Most typical role kits include four stretchers, as air ambulance, or aerospraying or cropdusting device.

In Poland, there were also developed several specialized military variants, first of all support or reconnaissance ones, with 23 mm autocannon, machine guns and/or two 57 mm rocket pods, four 9K11 Malyutka anti-tank missiles or Strela-2 AA missiles.

 

Operational history

It was first introduced into the Soviet Air Force in 1965. The Mi-2 is used by mainly former Soviet and Eastern Bloc countries, although it is used by Mexico and Myanmar as well.

Most of armed Mi-2 variants were used by Poland. Some were also used by the former East Germany (with machine gun and unguided rocket armament only).

North Korea still maintains a large active fleet of Mi-2s. In the event of a war with the ROK, the primary mission of the 200+ aircraft would be the insertion of nK SOF forces behind enemy lines. These SOF forces would be tasked with opening the "second front" against the allied forces, in order to disrupt their ability to counter the nK invasion. The life-expectancy for the Mi-2s would be short, and many would likely not return from their initial mission.

 

General characteristics

Crew: One

Capacity: 8 passengers or 700 kg (1,540 lb) internal, 800 kg (1,760 lb) external cargo

Length: 11.9 m (39 ft 4 in)

Rotor diameter: 14.6 m (47 ft 11 in)

Height: 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in)

Disc area: 167 m² (1,797 ft²)

Empty weight: 2,372 kg (5,218 lb)

Loaded weight: 3,550 kg (7,810 lb)

Max. takeoff weight: 3,700 kg (8,140 lb)

Powerplant: 2 × PZL GTD-350 turboshafts, 298 kW (400 shp) each

 

Performance

Maximum speed: 220 km/h (138 mph)

Range: 340 km (212 mi)

Service ceiling: 4,000 m (13,120 ft)

Rate of climb: 4.5 m/s (886 ft/min)

Disc loading: 21 kg/m² (4.3 lb/ft²)

Power/mass: 170 W/kg (0.10 hp/lb)