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The Mil Mi-8 is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship. The Mi-8 is the world's most-produced helicopter, and is used by over 50 countries. Russia is the largest operator of the Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopter.


Design and development

The prototype V-8 was designed in 1960 based on the Mil Mi-4 with a larger cabin. Powered by a 2,010 kW (2,700 shp) Soloviev turboshaft engine, the V-8 was first shown on Soviet Aviation Day parade in July 1961. The second prototype equipped with two 1,120 kW (1,500 shp) Isotev TV2 engines, made its first flight on 17 September 1962. For the production version the rotor was changed from a four blades to five blades in 1964. After a few changes 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 left side. Also mi-17 also has some improved armour plating for it's 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.


General characteristics

Crew: 3 (pilot, copilot, flight engineer)


24 passengers or

12 stretchers and seat for 1 medical attendant or

3,000 kg (6,600 lb) on internal/external hardpoints

Length: 18.17 m (59 ft 7 in)

Rotor diameter: 21.29 m (69 ft 10 in)

Height: 5.65 m (18 ft 6 in)

Disc area: 356 m² (3,832 ft²)

Empty weight: 7,260 kg (16,007 lb)

Loaded weight: 11,100 kg (24,470 lb)

Max. takeoff weight: 12,000 kg (26,455 lb)

Powerplant: 2 × Klimov TV3-117Mt turboshafts, 1,454 kW (1,950 shp) each

Fuel max total capacity: 3,700 l (977 US gal)



Maximum speed: 260 km/h (140 kt)

Range: 450 km (280 mi)

Ferry range: 960 km (596 mi)

Service ceiling: 4,500 m (14,765 ft)



up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) of disposable stores on six hardpoints, including 57 mm S-5 rockets, bombs, or 9M17 Phalanga ATGMs.