Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec, today (19.09) marks the 45th anniversary of the maiden flight of the legendary Mi-24 combat helicopter. A prototype of the helicopter flown by test pilot German Alferov took to the skies on this day in 1969.
The Mi-24 was conceived and built in record time, with development starting in 1968. The rapid design and manufacturing process was enabled by years of research led by Mikhail Mil into a whole range of issues, and also by making extensive use of parts and components from the Mi-8 and Mi-14 helicopters, which were already in serial production.
For their work on creating the Mi-24, a number of staff at Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant were awarded the Lenin Prize and other high government honours. In 1976 the Mi-24 was adopted as a military helicopter following the development of new weapons systems. The military helicopter designed by engineers at Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant was produced at Rostvertol in Rostov-on-Don and Progress Arsenyev Aviation Plant in Russia’s Far East. Today all three are Russian Helicopters companies.
„The Mi-24 is one of the best-known Russian helicopters worldwide,” said Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev. „The helicopter’s high levels of efficiency and reliability and its sound construction means that it is still in use to this day.”
More than 3,500 Mi-24 helicopters have been produced, and many are still in service in more than 40 countries around the world. The Mi-24 has also set several world records. In 1975, test pilots Galina Rastorgueva and Lyudmila Polyanskaya set eight records for speed and lifting, while in 1978 test pilot Gurgen Karapetyan recorded the highest speed by any helicopter, at 368.4 kmh.
The design of the Mi-24 proved so successful that it was subsequently used as the basis for the modern multirole Mi-35M gunship helicopter, which is a completely updated Mi-24. Rostvertol put the Mi-35M into serial production in 2005, and today the helicopter is supplied to the Russian Defence Ministry and to other countries. The helicopter has also opened up new markets in South America, where countries have begun taking the Mi-35M into service.
The Mi-24 is an iconic symbol of Russian aircraft engineering and a legend of helicopter construction. To this day helicopters of this series are among the most effective means available in the arsenals of many countries.
To mark the Mi-24’s 45th anniversary, Russian Helicopters held a special conference for students and high-school pupils at Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant. More than 150 people attended, including pupils from Moscow school no. 1738 named after Mikhail Mil and school no. 2 in the town of Lyubertsy, as well as students from Moscow Aviation Institute and Moscow State Industrial University. Speakers included deputy general constructor Alexander Pushnya, Mikhail Mil’s daughter Nadezhda Mil, and Valery Kalashnikov, first-class test pilot at Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant and holder of the Honoured Test Pilot of Russia state award.
Source / Author: Russian Helicopters
Photo: Russian Helicopters