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The Mil Mi-6 was a Soviet/Russian heavy transport helicopter designed by the Mil design bureau and built in large numbers for both military and civil roles.


Design and development

The Mi-6 was first flown in September 1957. Getting this large vehicle in the air is no easy task; the Mi-6 has an enormous gearbox, heavier than its engines, and often uses short wings to relieve the load on the rotor in cruise. Not only was it for a long time the largest helicopter in the world, it was also the fastest with a speed of 300 km/h. Its maximum load capacity is 12,000 kg.

When designed in 1954-56 it was by far the largest in the world, and even today its dynamic components of engines, gearbox, rotors and drive shafts are considered state-of-the-art. In its early days this helicopter set many world records, including one for sheer circuit speed at over 211 mph (340 km/h). In 1959-72 a total production of at least 500 were built for various general transport, utility, firefighting and flying-crane duties, the last two sub-types not being fitted with the large fixed wings which in other versions bear part of the lift in cruising flight and thus enable higher speeds to be attained. The twin nose wheels and large low-pressure main wheels do not retract. Normally flown by a crew of no fewer than five, the Mi-6 seats 65 armed troops and can alternatively carry 41 stretcher (litter) patients and two attendants, or a wide range of bulky loads, including vehicles, loaded through rear clamshell doors. In exercises fleets of these aircraft have airlifted many kinds of weapons, including FROG-7 rockets on their PT-76 tracked chassis, as well as large radars and heavy artillery. All Soviet APCs (Armoured personnel carriers), armoured cars and light MICVs (mechanised infantry combat vehicles) can be carried.


General characteristics

Crew: 6 (pilot, copilot, navigator, flight engineer, radio operator, technician)


90 passengers or

70 airborne troops or

41 stretcher cases with 2 medical personnel or

up to 12,000 kg (26,400 lb) of internal cargo

Length: 33.18 m (108 ft 10 in)

Rotor diameter: 35.00 m (114 ft 10 in)

Height: 9.86 m (32 ft 4 in)

Disc area: 962.1 m² (10,356 ft²)

Empty weight: 27,240 kg (60,055 lb)

Loaded weight: 40,500 kg (89,285 lb)

Max. takeoff weight: 42,500 kg (93,700 lb)

Powerplant: 2 × Soloviev D-25V turboshafts, 4,100 kW (5,500 shp) each

Fuel load: 6,315 kg (13,922 lb)



Maximum speed: 300 km/h (162 kt)

Cruise speed: 250 km/h (135 kt)

Range: 620 km (385 miles)

Ferry range: 1,450 km (900 miles)

Service ceiling: 4,500 m (14,750 ft)

Disc loading: 44.17 kg/m² (9.05 lb/ft²)

Power/mass: 0.21 kW/kg (0.13 hp/lb)