The Mil Mi-8 is a medium range helicopter capable of transporting 4,000 kg in its main cargo compartment. Cargo loaded with forlift or by hand.
Aircraft History and Features
Mikhail Mil originally approached the Soviet government with a proposal to design an all-new two-engined turbine helicopter after the success of the Mil Mi-4 and the emergence and effectiveness of turbines used in the Mil Mi-6; but the military argued against a new helicopter, as they were content with the current Mil Mi-4. To counter this, Mikhail Mil proposed that the new helicopter was more of an update to new turbine engines rather than an entirely new helicopter; this persuaded the council of ministers to proceed with production.
Due to the position of the engine, this enabled Mikhail Mil to justify redesigning the entire front half of the aircraft around the single engine.
The prototype, which was named V-8, was designed in 1958 and based on the Mil Mi-4 with a larger cabin.
During an official visit to the United States in September 1959, Nikita Khrushchev took a flight in the S-58 presidential helicopter for the first time and was reportedly extremely impressed. On Khrushchev’s return, he ordered the creation of a similar helicopter, which was to be ready for the return visit by the American president, to save face. A luxury version of the Mi-4 was quickly created and Khrushchev took an inspection flight, during which Mikhail Mil proposed that his helicopter in development was more suitable. However, it would be necessary to have a second engine for reliability. This gave Mikhail Mil the power under the orders of Khrushchev to build the original two-engined helicopter, which for the first time in Soviet history would need purpose-built turbine engines, rather than those adapted from fixed wing aircraft (as in the Mil Mi-6 and the first prototype V-8) and an entirely new main rotor gear box that would be designed in-house for the first time. In May 1960, the order was given for Mikhail Mil to create his twin engine helicopter.
There are numerous variants, including the Mi-8T, which, in addition to carrying 24 troops, is armed with rockets and anti-tank guided missiles.
Procharter recently managed a challenging and complex aviation and logistics project in Afghanistan, operating several hundred MI-8T and MI-8MTV flights throughout Afghanistan.
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era: Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma, Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight.