Monday, August 27, 2007

Russia's Mi-26 Is a GINORMOUS Helicopter

No really. It is gigantic. Have you ever seen a Very Big Helicopter? You know, the Boeing CH-47 Chinook? You must have seen one of those big beasties on TV. They've been a feature of TV and movies since Vietnam and are regularly dropping out of the sky, slamming into mountain sides and otherwise getting into the news.

The Chinook is a BIG helicopter.

Well, the Mi-26 Halo has a takeoff weight more than double that of the Chinook. If the Chinook is considered a "heavy lift" helicopter, what does that make the Mi-26? In fact, the USA hired a Mi-26 to collect a Chinook that had been downed in Afghanistan.

You must have seen the Lockheed Hercules. The C-130 military variant is on TV at least as much as the Chinook. The Mi-26's cargo hold is almost as big as that of the Hercules. The Hercules needs a runway (albeit a short one, especially with JATO).

The Mi-26 goes STRAIGHT UP.

The Mi-26's main rotor carries eight blades and has a diameter of 32 metres!

The wimpy version of the Mi-26 has two engines generating almost 25,000 shaft horsepower between them. Updated versions are expected to have nearly fifty per cent more power.

However you cut it, this is some serious machinery.

The biggest problem is finding pictures that really convey the awesome scale of this beast. I've scoured the web so you don't have to.

You can get a full rundown on the Mil Mi-26's statistics here and good pictures are available here, here, here and here.

There's more information about the Mi-26 here and here and details of the awful shooting down of Russian Air Force Mi-26 at Khankala, Chechnya here. Details of Putin's measured response to the killing of 127 Russians are here.

And yes, they are for sale.

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