This helicopter was flying over the burning reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and over hot spots around the world in the UN peacekeeping missions. It carry cargoes with weight of twenty tons at the distance of 2000 km (1242 miles). The diameter of its screw is equal to the wingspan of Boeing-737. It has two engines, 11 000 hp each. Mi-26 is the largest serial transport helicopter in the world!
“Utair” air company uses the biggest helicopters, the fleet of the company amounts to 352 helicopters, 25 of them are Mi-26.
Mi-26 is a Soviet multipurpose transport helicopter. Its first flight was performed on the 14th of December, 1977. The serial production is established in Rostov. 310 vehicles have been produced in general. The production proceeds.
Mi-26, as well as its its foregoer Mi-6, was intended for transportation of military equipment, armory, food, troops with their equipment and armament, for medical evacuations and, in special case, for tactical landings.
It was the first Soviet helicopter of the third generation. In the end of the 60s-70s many foreign companies were designing innovative helicopters, but Mi-26 was significantly superior to both domestic and foreign rates of helicopters with a cargo compartment.
Almost at the same geometrical dimensions as that of the Mi-6, the new vehicle had twice bigger payload and significantly better performance characteristics. But it didn’t affect the take-off weight of the helicopter.
They had been working much with the project trying to find reasonable solutions, constructions of some parts were repeatedly redesigned.
In 1974 they already knew what Mi-26 is going to be. Almost all systems of the power unit were located over the cargo compartment. In the nose part of the fuselage there was a cabin with seats for a left pilot, right pilot, navigator and a mechanic and a cabin for four persons who accompanied a cargo and one more mechanic.
The cargo compartment is 12,1 m length (with a ladder – 15 m) x width 3,2 m x height from 2,95 to 3,17 m.
In the landing variant the Mi-26 is carrying 82 soldiers or 68 paratroopers. Special equipment allowed to turn a helicopter into the ambulance one for a few hours to transport 60 wounded on stretchers and three accompanying medical workers.