The record among the largest helicopters is the Soviet B-12 (unofficially called Mi-12). Developed during the years of the Cold War, when there was a need to deliver intercontinental ballistic missiles through the air. Engines D-25VF (4 pcs.) With a capacity of 26 000 liters. from. raise the machine weighing 69.1 tons and an additional load of 30 to 40 tons.
Operate the vehicle six crew members from a two-tiered cabin. The B-12 differs by the wings of the reverse restriction with a lateral arrangement of screws with a diameter of 35 meters each. And its huge cargo area can accommodate almost 200 people. Dimensions of the helicopter: height – 12.5 m, length – 37 m.
For the first time, the B-12 took off on July 10, 1968 under the control of test pilot VP Koloshenko. The second copy took off in May 1973 under the guidance of test pilot GV Alferov. Both copies went to the Aviation Museum in 1974, where they are still today. Production of such a large device had to be covered because of too high production costs and lack of suitable landing areas.
In second place among the largest helicopters was Mi-26, the younger brother of the B-12. Unlike its senior “colleague”, the Mi-26 is produced serially by the plant “Rostvertol” and is used universally.
The carrier of the machine consists of eight blades with a diameter of 32 meters, the steering screw is made of five blades with a diameter of about 7.5 meters. Two engines with a total capacity of 22.8 thousand hp. raise a car weighing 28.2 tons and an additional cargo of up to 20 tons. Piloted by the crew of 2 to 6 people (depending on the model). Dimensions: height – 8 m, length – 40 m.
To date, the Mi-26 has up to 15 modifications, performing various functions and providing the apparatus with wide popularity. It is used for transportation of goods, as well as:
- for medical purposes for the transport of the wounded: accommodates up to 60 beds and medical staff;
- for military purposes: accommodates up to 85 soldiers;
- in rescue operations in forest fires or natural disasters.
For the first time, the Soviet Mi-26 was tested on December 14, 1977 by test pilot GR Karapetyan. It has been mass-produced since 1984 and during that time managed to “light up” in numerous military conflicts, rescue operations, peacekeeping missions, in the field of passenger and cargo transportation. The helicopter is in service and operated for civilian purposes in more than 15 countries.
The largest military helicopters
The largest military helicopter is the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion manufactured in the USA. Serially admitted since 1981 by the company “Sikorsky Aircraft”. CH-53E has several modifications and is in service with the US and Japan. Piloted by five crew members. The Sikorsky carrier screw consists of seven blades 24 meters in diameter, the helmsman has four blades. Three engines with a capacity of 13.1 thousand hp. raise Super Stallion weighing 15 thousand tons and an additional cargo up to 16 tons. Dimensions of the helicopter: height – 8.5 m, length – 30.2 m. Holds from 37 to 55 military on board.
The first prototype CH-53 took off on October 14, 1964 and since then it has been repeatedly modified. As a result, in December 1980, the first tests of the CH-53E were carried out, and the following year it was already adopted by the US Navy. The equipment includes three machine guns, and night and infrared vision systems help to navigate well even in bad weather and combat conditions.
The largest military Soviet helicopter is the Mi-24. The carrier of the machine consists of five blades with a diameter of 17.3 meters, the steering screw is made of three blades with a diameter of 3.9 meters. A pair of engines TV3-117 with a total capacity of 4,400 liters. from. raise the car weighing 7.6 tons and cargo up to 2.4 tons. Piloted by three crew members, in addition, accommodates up to 8 paratroopers. Dimensions: height – 5.5 m, length – 17.5 m.
For the first time tested on September 15, 1969 test pilot GV Alferov, and after some modifications in 1971 went to mass production. In various modifications, the Mi-24 is in service in more than 40 countries around the world.
The Mi-24 is equipped with built-in cannon-fire weapons and, depending on the model – grenade launchers, guided and unguided missile systems, bombs and cassettes.