Developed in the early 1950s to meet a Soviet Army requirement and first flown in June 1957, the Mi-6 was the largest-yet helicopter created in the Soviet Union. Its notable features included a power-plant consisting of two turbo-shaft engines (for the first time on a Soviet helicopter) and stub wings offloading the main rotor in forward flight; the cabin was big enough to accommodate artillery systems and tactical ballistic missiles. Built by two plants, the Mi-6 saw service with the Soviet Air Force (including participation in the Afghan War) and the air arms of several Soviet allies. It also proved valuable as a civil air-lifter during oilfield exploration in Siberia, remaining in service right the way up to 2002. A worthy successor to the Mi-6 appeared in 1977 – the Mi-26. With its 20-ton payload, it was (and still is) the world’s largest and most capable transport helicopter. Again, the Mi-26 had both military and commercial uses (the former included participation in several armed conflicts); the type is still in production, being updated to meet modern requirements, and has been exported to several countries in Asia and Latin America.
Mi-1, Mi-6 and Mi-26: Heavy Lift Helicopters Flight Craft 10
The book describes the history, variants and service career of the Mil’ ‘big lifters’ and contains a detailed overview of the scale model kits covering these types which are currently available on the market.