This is last of Soviet copters – last of MI-4s ever made. For some reason it’s the only MI-4 copter left in Russia. So they treat it as a precious – want restore it for museum.
It is sort of very hard – finding parts is real pain. Those MI-4s were made in 1960s. It’s a sort of Soviet clone of the Sikorsky S-55, but twice heavier and stronger (could lift twice as much payload).
It was made from 1953 to 1968. It’s purpose was to catch up with States in helicopters of the mid class. In Russia it was widely used – including usage in the army – till the Mi-8s appeared in 70s. Around 3900 were made, and here it is the last one here.
It could carry up to sixteen people, with three people being copter’s crew. The weight is 4900 kilos, and speed around 150 km/h.
In 1988 a copter crashed and eight people on board – they all have died. And after that the Soviet state has issued order to take down all the Mi-4s they have used. They found a “critical malfunction and risk of bolt coming out of place which causes pilot lose control of helicopter” and for this the copters had to be stopped used. And then they all have been destroyed.
So here is the only that survived. And hard to find the parts for him as all the other were destroyed.
Photographer who visit plant where the copter being repaired has said that crew of the repairmen are sort of being in despair – they can’t find useful parts and the engine is always shutting – they can’t stabilize it in a working mode. So now they ask that anyone who might read this if you by chance got any part, then please come in contact and help.
They also missing the propeller blades.
Let’s hope they someday would repair it.