Kazan Helicopters, a Russian Helicopters company (a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec), has produced the 7,500th Mi-8/17 series helicopter. The military transport Mi-8MTV-5 helicopter will be handed over under contract to the Russian Air Force.
Mi-8/17 series helicopters are the Russian helicopter industry’s bestsellers thanks to their wide-ranging applications and high flight characteristics. To date over 12,000 have been produced and supplied to customers in over 100 countries around the world. Today, Kazan Helicopters series produces them in three main configurations:
– Mi-8MTV-1 (export variant – Mi-171V) – a multirole configuration used as the basis for various types of helicopter, including a flying hospital;
– Mi-8MTV-5 (export variant – Mi-17V-5) – a military transport configuration (the helicopter is designed to carry cargo inside the cabin and on an external sling, and can also be used in search and rescue operations and to carry arms);
– Mi-172 – passenger configuration (also produced in a special VIP configuration).
Mi-8/17 helicopters have often been used in complex and critical construction projects, and in preparations for major events. The Mi-8MTV helped ensure security at the XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014, and at the XXVII International Summer Universiade in Kazan in 2013. These helicopters can be relied on to operate in any conditions. The Mi-8MTV was rated highly by the Russian Republic of Tatarstan’s Civil Defence and Emergency Situations Ministry for its role in fire-fighting in 2010 and in dousing the recent blaze at the high profile Novaya Tura Technopolis development project.
Experts are confident that, given ongoing modifications, the Mi-8/17 series can retain its leading position in its segment for another 15-20 years. The Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, which developed the helicopter, and Kazan Helicopters (both Russian Helicopter companies) are working to upgrade and modernise Mi-8/17 series helicopters. A step-by-step upgrade programme for the Mi-17V-5 is in place, as is the development of very promising helicopters – the new Mi-171A2.
The Mi-8/17’s history encompasses over 50 years of success. In May 1960, the Mil Design Bureau started developing a multirole helicopter capable of replacing the much-admired Mi-4 multirole helicopter. In 1965, just five years later, series production of the Mi-8 was launched at Kazan Helicopters. In June 1965 the helicopter caused a sensation at the Le Bourget international air show.
After the Mi-8 went into series production, work to create its numerous configurations began: airborne command post, communications and anti-infantry and anti-tank minelayer, tank refuelling and repair, flying laboratory, as well as its medical, agricultural, search and rescue, crane, and passenger configurations.
By 1969 the Mi-8 had fully replaced the Mi-4 on the Kazan Helicopters production line. Production volume increased each year. From 1965-1996, Kazan Helicopters built around 4,500 Mi-8s in different configurations. Demand for the Mi-8 was so great that in 1970, Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant also started producing them. In the 1980s, the Mi-8 was modernised – becoming the Mi-8MT, export variant Mi-17, and became the basis for all subsequent upgrades (Mi-8MTV, Mi-8AMT and so on). Recently Kazan Helicopters celebrated the anniversary of the Mi-17 series, marking the delivery of the 3,500th helicopter for export – the Mi-17V-5 – which was delivered to one of our major customers – India’s Armed Forces.
Kazan Helicopters produces Mi-8/17 series helicopters that are operated in over 100 countries worldwide. A wide range of configurations are produced: transport, passenger, search and rescue, landing and transport, among many others. Preparations are underway to launch production of the Mi-38 passenger transport helicopter. Since 1997, Kazan Helicopters has been certified to develop helicopter technology: today the light twin-engine Ansat helicopter is in series production.
Source / Author: Russian Helicopters
Photo: Russian Helicopters